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(Historia Augusta) A collection of bio- 
graphies (most of them in chronological 
order) of Roman emperors and claimants 
and heirs presumptive and colleagues 
from Hadrian to Numerianus (A.D. 117- 
284) compiled by six writers (learned 
men, possibly secretaries or librarians 
with much knowledge of law) apparently 
of the period A.D. 285-335. Their names 
may be fictitious, and their work seems to 
have been added to by later interpolations. 
Their model is Suetonius, their style plain, 
their attitude uncritical and courtly but 
honest, their method the anecdote without 
care for arrangement or much regard 
for the importance or the background 
of general events. Their considerable 
historical value depends on their sources. 
The earlier lives rely on two undis- 
tinguished authors and possibly a third 
much better historian ; the later are based 
more on public records, a fact which 
enhances their value, in spite of strong 
evidence of forgery. The object of the 
whole strange collection has been much 
discussed in recent times. 





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LCL 139 







First published 1921 
Reprinted 1930, 1953, 1960, 1967, 1979, 1991 

ISBN 0-674-99154-0 

Printed in Great Britain by St Edmundsbury Press Ltd, 

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on acid-free paper. 
Bound by Hunter 6- Foulis Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland. 




EDITORIAL NOTE (1991) xxxviii 














IN the preparation of this book others have laboured 
and I have entered into the fruits of their labours. 
Their co-operation has been of inestimable service. 

The translation of the biographies from Antoninus 
Pius to Pescennius Niger and from the Maximini to 
Maximus and Balbinus inclusive has been furnished 
by my friend Mr. Ainsworth O'Brien- Moore. In the 
translation of the other lives also his fine taste and 
literary discrimination have been responsible for many 
a happy phrase. But for the promise of his collabora- 
tion the task of preparing this edition had not been 

The Latin text of the first six biographies has been 
supplied by Miss Susan H. Ballou of Bryn Mawr 
College, who had in mind the preparation of a new 
text of these biographies, based on her study of the 
manuscripts. Unfortunately, however, other interests 
have claimed her time and her efforts and she has 
been unable to complete the work for this edition. 
It is to be earnestly hoped that she will yet publish 
a critical text of the entire series. 

In the lack of Miss Ballou's text I nave been 
forced to base this edition, from the Commodus 



onward, on the text of Hermann Peter, for the long- 
promised edition by Dr. Ernst Hohl has not yet 
appeared. Its aid would have been invaluable. 
While only too well aware of the inadequacies of 
Peter's text, I have not felt able to introduce many 
changes. The suggestions offered bv various scholars 

O - v * 

since the appearance of Peter's second edition have 
been carefully considered, and a few have been 
adopted. The text, therefore, is that of the Codex 
Palatinus (P), with the introduction of a few emen- 
dations and whatever changes in punctuation and 
spelling might seem in accordance with modern 
usage. All the more important variations from P, 
as well as the most significant of the variant readings 


afforded by the later correctors of the manuscript, 
and, in ad'ditiou, the divergencies from the text of 
Peter have been entered in the critical notes. 

In the Introduction I have sought to give a brief 
account of the Historia Augusta, the authors, their 
method and style, and a summary of the study ex- 
pended on it from the close of the classical period to 
the present and its use by later historians. A dis- 
cussion of its authorship an.l sources and of the 
theories which have found in it a work of the late 
fourth or early fifth century has, for reasons of space, 
been reserved for the second volume. 

The somewhat voluminous commentary has seemed 
necessary on account of the obscurity of the narrative 
and the abundance of technical terms. In the pre- 
paration of it I have tried to keep in mind not only 
the needs of the general reader but also those of the 
student of Roman History, and it is for the benefit 
of the latter that some of the more technical material 
has been included. 



A list of the books and articles to which I am in- 
debted would fill many pages. The greatest amount 
of aid has been furnished by Lessing's Lexicon, 
Mommsen's Romisches Staatsrecht, the Prosopographia 
Imperil Romani, and the admirable articles on the 
various Emperors that have appeared in the Real- 
Encyclopadie of Pauly-Wissowa-Kroll. In the com- 
mentary to the biography of Hadrian valuable 
assistance has been rendered by Wilhelm Weber's 
Untersuchwigen zur Geschickte des Kaisers Hadrian. 
A complete bibliography will be included in the 
second volume. 

Of the work as a whole, perhaps it can be said : 
"Sunt bona, sunt quaedam mediocria, sunt mala plura, 
quae legis hie ". 


15th June, 1921. 






AMONG the remnants of Roman literature preserved 
by the whims of fortune is a collection of biographies 
of the emperors from Hadrian to Carinus the Vitae 
Diversorum Principum et Tyrannorum a Divo Hadriano 
usque ad Numerianum Diversis compositae, as it is en- 
titled in the principal manuscript, the Codex Palatinus 
of the Vatican Library. It is popularly known, ap- 
parently for convenience' sake, as the Hutoria Augusta, 
a name applied to it by Casaubon, whereas the original 
title was probably de Vita Caesarum or Vitae Caesarum. 1 
The collection, as extant, comprises thirty biographies, 
most of which contain the life of a single emperor, 
while some include a group of two or more, classed 
together merely because these emperors were either 
akin or contemporary. Not only the emperors who 
actually reigned, the " Augusti," but also the heirs 

Mommsen, Hermes, ziii. (1878), p. 301 = Gesammelte 
Schriften, vii. p. 301. 



presumptive, the " Caesares/' and the various claim- 
ants to the empire, the <x Tyranni," are included in the 

According to the tradition of the manuscripts the 
biographies are the work of six different authors ; 
some of them are addressed to the Emperor 
Diocletian, others to Constantine, and others to im- 
portant personages in Rome. The biographies of 
the emperors from Hadrian to Gordian are attributed 
to four various authors, apparently on no principle 
whatsoever, for not only are the lives of successive, 
or even contemporary, princes ascribed to different 
authors and those of emperors widely separated in 
time to the same writer, but in the case of two of 
the authors some lives are dedicated to Diocletian 
and some to Constantine. 

In the traditional arrangement the biographies are 
assigned to the various authors as follows : 

I. Aelius Spartianus : the vitae of Hadrian, Aelius, 
Didius Julianus, Severus, Pescennius Niger, Caracalla, 
and Geta. Of these, the Aelius, Julianus, Severus, 
and Niger are addressed to Diocletian, the Geta to 
Constantine. The preface of the Aelius 1 contains 
mention of the Caesars Galerius Maximianus and 
Constantius Chlorus, and from this it may be inferred 
that the vitae of the Diocletian group were written 
between 293, the year of the nomination of these 
Caesars, and 305, the year of Diocletian's retirement. 
In the same preface 2 Spartianus announces that it is 
his purpose to write the biographies, not only of the 
emperors who preceded Hadrian, but also of all the 
princes who followed, including the Caesars and the 

l Ael.,u. 2. 


II. Julius Capitolinus : the mlae of Pius, Marcus 
Aurelius, Verus, Pertinax, Clodius Albinus, Macrinus, 
the Maximini, the Gordiani, and Maximus and 
Balbinus. Of these, the Marcus, Verus, and Macrinus 
are addressed to Diocletian, while the Albinus, the 
Maximiui, and the Gordiani are addressed to 
Constantine, evidently after the fall of Licinius in 
324. 1 Like Spartianus, Capitolinus announces his 
purpose of composing an extended series of imperial 
biographies. 2 

III. Vulcacius Gallicanus : the vita of Avidius 
Cassius, addressed to Diocletian. He too announces 
an ambitious programme 3 the composition of bio- 
graphies of all who have worn the imperial purple, 
both regnant emperors and pretenders to the throne. 

IV. Aelius Lampridius : the vilae of Commodus, 
Diadumenianus, Elagabalus, and Severus Alexander. 
Of these, the last two are addressed to Constantine ; 
according to the author, they were composed at the 
Emperor's own request, 4 and they were written after 
the defeat of Licinius at Adrianople in 323. 5 Lam- 
pridius claims to have written the biographies of at 
least some of the predecessors of Elagabalus and to 
cherish the plan of composing biographies of the 
emperors who reigned subsequently, beginning with 
Alexander and including in his work not only Dio- 
cletian but Licinius and Maxentius, the rivals of 
Constantine. 6 

1 Gord., xxxiv. 5 ; see H. Peter, Die Scriptores Historiae 
Augustae (Leipzig, 1892), p. 35. 

2 Max., i. 1-3 ; Gord., i. 1-5. 

3 Av. Cass., iii. 3. 
*Heliog., xxxv. 1. 

6 Heliog., vii. 7 ; see Peter, Scri2)tores, p. 32. 
., xxxv. ; Alex., Ixiv. 1. 



V. Trebellius Pollio : the vitae from Philip to 
Claudius ; of his work, however, the earlier part, 
containing the biographies from Philip to Valerian, 
has been lost from the collection/ and we have only 
the vitae of the Valerian! (in part), the Gallieni. the 
Tyranni Triginta, and Claudius. Pollio's biographies 
were dedicated, not to the emperor, but to a friend, 
apparently an official of high degree. His name has 
been lost, together with the preface which must have 
preceded the vita of Philip. The only clue to his 
id-entity is a passage in which he is addressed as a 
kinsman of an Herennius Celsus, a candidate for the 
consulship. 2 The extant biographies were written 
after Constantius' nomination as Caesar in 293, 3 and, 
in the case of the Tyranni Triginta, after the com- 
mencement of the Baths of Diocletian in 298. 4 The 
collection was finished, according to his successor and 
continuer Vopiscus, in 303. 5 

VI. Flavius Vopiscus : the vitae of Aurelian, Tacitus, 
Probus, Firmus and his three fellow-tyrants, and 
Carus and his sons. These biographies, like those of 
Pollio, are not dedicated to any emperor, but to 
various friends of the author. Vopiscus wrote, he 
declares in his elaborate preface, 6 at the express 
request of his friend Junius Tiberianus, the city- 
prefect. Tiberianus was city-prefect for the second 
time in 303-4, 7 and, even granting that his con- 
versation with the author as well as his promise of 

1 These biographies were included in the collection by Pollio ; 
see Aur., ii. 1. 

*Tyr. Trig., xxii. 12. 

3 Gall., vii. 1 and elsewhere. 

4 Tyr. Trig., xxi. 7 ; see Peter, ticriptores, p. 36 f. 

6 Aur., ii. 1. *Aur., i.-ii. 

7 B. Borghesi, Oeuvres Comytttex (Paris, 1862-97), ix. p. 392. 



the documents from Trajan's library are merely 
rhetorical ornaments/ this date is usually regarded 
as marking the beginning of Vopiscus' work. It is 
confirmed by an allusion to Constantius as imperator 2 
(305-306) and to Diocletian as iam privatus (after 
305). 3 This collection was completed, according to 
internal evidence, before the death of Diocletian in 
316, 4 perhaps even before that of Galerius in 31 1. 5 
The series written by Vopiscus has been preserved in 
its entirety, for it was his intention to conclude his 
work with the lives of Carus and his sons, leaving to 
others the task of writing the biographies of Dio- 
cletian and his associates. 6 

The plan to include in the collection not only 
"August!," but also "Caesares" and " Tyranni," has 
resulted in a double series of biographies in that 
section of the Historia Augusta which includes the 
emperors between Hadrian and Alexander. To the 
life of a regnant emperor is attached that of an heir- 
presumptive, a colleague, or a rival. In each case 
the minor vita stands in a close relationship to the 
major, and, in many instances, passages seem to have 
been transcribed bodily from the biography of the 
" Augustus " to that of the " Caesar " or " Tyrannus ". 

In the composition of these biographies the model 
used by the authors, -according to the testimony of 
two of them, 7 was Suetonius. The Lives of Suetonius 
are not biographies in the modern sense of the word, 
but merely collections of material arranged according 

1 Peter, Scnptores, p. 39. 

*Aur., xliv. 5. 3 Aui., xliii. 2. 

4 Car., xviii. 5; see Peter, Scriptores, p. 45 f. 

5 Car., ix. 3. 

6 Prob., i. 5; Bonos., xv. 10. 

1 Max. Balb., iv. 5; Prob., ii. 7; Firm., i. 2. 



to certain definite categories, 1 and this method of 
composition is, in fact, employed also by the authors 
of the Historia Augusta. An analysis of the Pius, the 
most simply constructed of the series, shows the 
general sciieme most clearly. 2 This vita falls natur- 
ally into the following divisions: ancestry (i. 1-7); 
life previous to his accession to the throne (i. 8 v. 2) ; 
policy and events of his reign (v. 3 vii. 4) ; personal 
traits (vii. 5 xii. 3) ; death (xii. 4-9) ; personal 
appearance (xiii. 1-2); honours after death (xiii. 

A fundamental scheme similar to this, in which 
the several sections are more or less clearly marked, 
serves as the basis for all the biographies. The series 
of categories is compressed or extended according 
to the importance of the events to be narrated or the 
material that was available, and at times the prin- 
ciple of composition is obscured by the elaboration of 
a particular topic to an altogether disproportionate 
length. Thus the mention of the peculiar cults to 
which Commodus was addicted (the category religioner) 
leads to a long and detailed list of acts of cruelty, 3 
while nearly one half of the life of Elagabalus is de- 
voted to an enumeration of instances of his luxury 
and extravagance, 4 and in the biography of Severus 
Alexander the fundamental scheme is almost unre- 
cognizable as a result of the confused combination 
of various narratives. 6 

1 Proposita vitae eius velut summa paries singillatim neque 
per tempora sed per species exsequar ; Suetonius, Aug., ix. 

- Peter, Scriptores, p. 106 f. ; F. Leo, Die Griechisch- 
Romische Biographie (Leipzig, 1901), p. 273 f. 

3 Com., ix. 6 xi. 7. 

*Heliog., xviii. 4 xxxiii. 1. 

5 Leo, p. 280 f . 



It was also characteristic of Suetonius that he 
amplified his biographies by means of gossip, anec- 
dotes, and documents, but nowhere in his Lives are 
these used as freely as in certain of the vitae of the 
Hisloria Augusta. The authors take a peculiar de- 
light in the introduction of material dealing with the 
personality of their subjects. Not content with 
including special divisions on personal characteristics, 
in which are enumerated the individual qualities of 
an emperor, 1 they devote long sections to elaborate 
details of their private lives, particularly before their 
elevation to the throne. For this more intimate 
detail there was much less material available than 
for the narration of public events. The careers of 
short-lived emperors and pretenders afforded little 
of public interest, and consequently their biographies 
were padded with trivial anecdotes. In fact, a com- 
parison between a major vita and its corresponding 
minor biography shows that the latter contains 
little historical material that is not in the former. 
The rest is made up of amplifications, anecdotes, 
speeches, letters and verses, and at best these minor 
vitae represent little more than a working over of the 
material contained in the major biographies with the 
aid of rhetorical expedients and literary embellish- 

The model for the emphasizing of the private life 
of an emperor seems to have been not so much 
Suetonius as Marius Maximus, the author of a series 
of imperial biographies from Nerva to Elagabalus or 
Severus Alexander. Not content with the narration 

1 e.g. in the Pius, liberalitas et dementia (viii. 5 ix. 5) ; 
auctoritas (ix. 6-10) ; pietas (x. 1-5) ; liberalitas (x. 6-9) ; 
civilitas (xi.) ; see Peter, Scriptores, p. 157. 



of facts in the manner of Suetonius, Maximus sought 
to add interest to his biographies by the introduction 
of persona] material. His lives are cited by the 
authors of the earlier vitae of the Historia Augusta 
as their sources for gossip, scandal, and personal 
minutiae, 1 and he is probably justly referred to as 
homo omnium verbosissimus qui et myihistoricis se vol- 
uminibus implicavit. 2 In gossip and search after 
detail, however, Maximus seems to have been out- 
done by Aelius Junius Cord us, cited in the vitae of 
Albinus, Maximinus, the Gordiani, and Maximus and 
Balbinus. He made it a principle to describe the 
emperor's appearances in public, and his food and 
clothing, 3 and the citations from him include the 
enumeration of the amounts of fruit, birds and oysters 
consumed by Albinus. 4 Readers who desire further 
information 011 trivial or indecent details are scorn- 
fully referred to his biographies. 5 

The manner of Marius Maximus and Cordus is 
most clearly reproduced in the lives attributed to 
Vopiscus. The more pretentious biographies of 
Aurelian and Probus especially 6 contain a wealth of 
personal detail which quite obscures the scant his- 
torical material. After an elaborate preface of a 
highly rhetorical nature, there follows a description 
of the character of the emperor in which the 
emphasis is laid on his noble deeds and his virtues. 
These are illustrated by anecdotes and attested by 
"documents," much to the detriment of the narration 

1 Hadr., ii. 10; xxv. 3; AeL, v. 4; Avid. Cass., ix. 9; 
Heliog., xi. 6. 

2 Firm., i. 2. 3 Macr., i. 4. 

4 Cl. Alb., xi. 2-3. 

5 Cl. Alb., v. 10 ; Max., xxix. 10 ; Gord., xxi. 3. 
R Leo, p. 291 f. 



of facts. No rhetorical device is neglected and the 
whole gives the impression of an eulogy rather than a 

The method employed by Marius Maximus and 
Cordus was, however, productive of a still more 
detrimental element in the Historia Angus! a the 
alleged documents which are inserted in many of 
the vitae. Suetonius, as secretary to Hadrian, had 
had access to the imperial archives and thus obtained 
various letters and other documents which he inserted 
in his biographies for the illustration or confirmation 
of some statement. His practice was continued by 
his successors in the field of biographical literature. 
Thus Marius Maximus inserted documents, both 
speeches and letters, in the body of his text and even 
added them in appendices. 1 Some of these may 
have been authentic ; but since the references to 
them in the Historia Augusta indicate that they were 
very numerous, and since there is no reason to sup- 
pose that Maximus had access to the official archives, 
considerable doubt must arise as to their genuineness. 
Cordus, too, inserted in his biographies letters alleged 
to have been written by emperors 2 and speeches and 
acclamations uttered in the senate-house,* but, to 
judge from the specimens preserved in the Historia 
Augusta, these "documents" deserve even less cred- 
ence than those of Maximus. 

The precedent thus established was followed by 
some of the authors of the Historia Augusta. The 
collection contains in all about 150 alleged docu- 
ments, including 68 letters, 60 speeches and proposals 

1 Marc., xxv. 8 ; Com., xviii. 1 ; Pert., ii. t> ; xv. 8 ; see Peter, 
Scriptores, p. 108 f. 

Cl. Alb., vii. 2-6; Max., xii. 5. 3 Gord., xi. 



to the people or the senate, and 20 senatorial decrees 
and acclamations. 1 The distribution of these, how- 
ever, is by no means uniform. Of the major vitae 
from Hadrian to Elagabalus inclusive, only the Corn- 
modus and the Macrinus are provided with "docu- 
ments," and these have but two apiece. 2 On the 
other hand, the group of vitae of the Maximini, the 
Gordiani, and Maximus and Balbinus contains in all 
26 such pieces, and Pollio's Valeriam, Tyranni Triginta 
and Claudius 3 have together 27. It is, however, 
Vopiscus who heads the list, for his five biographies 
contain no less than 59 so-called documents of various 

In a discussion of the genuineness of these docu- 
ments a distinction must be drawn between the 
speeches, on the one hand, and the letters and sena- 
torial decrees and acclamations on the other. Since 
the time of Thucydides it had been customary for an 
historian to insert speeches in his history, and it was 
an established convention that they might be more 
or less fictitious. Accordingly, none would question 
the right of the biographer to attribute to the subject 
of his biography any speech that he might wish to 
insert in his narrative. With the letters and decrees, 
however, the case is different. Like those cited by 
Suetonius, these claim to be actual documents and it 
is from this claim that the question of their authen- 
ticity must proceed. In spite of occasional expressions 
of scepticism, the genuineness of these documents was 
not seriously questioned until 1870, when C. Czwalina 
published an examination of the letters contained in 

1 C. L6crivain, Etudes sur VHistoire Auguste (Paris, 1904), 
p. 45 f. 

2 Com., xviii.-xix. ; xx. ; Macr., ii. 4-5; vi. 2-9, 
8 There are none in the Oallienus. 


the vita of Avidius Cassius. 1 He showed that various 
letters, professedly written by different persons, show 
the same style and tricks of expression, that they 
were all written with the purpose of praising the 
clemency and generosity of Marcus, and that they 
contain several historical errors. He thus reached 
the conclusion that they were forgeries, but not com- 
posed by the author of the vita since his comments 
on them are inconsistent with their content. 2 

A similar examination of the letters and documents 
in the other biographies, particularly in those at- 
tributed to Pollio and Vopiscus, reveals the hand of 
the forger even more plainly. 3 They abound not 
only in errors of fact that would be impossible in 
genuine documents, but also in the rhetorical bombast 
and the stylistic pecularities that are characteristic of 
the authors of these series. The documents cited by 
Pollio, moreover, show the same aim and purpose as 
his text the glorification of Claudius Gothicus as 
the reputed ancestor of Constantius Chlorus and the 
vilification of his predecessor Gallienus, while the 
documents of Vopiscus show the same tendency to 
sentimentalize over the past glories of Rome and 
over the greatness of the senate that is characteristic 
of his own work, and, like those cited by Pollio, they 
too have a purpose the praise of Vopiscus' hero 

An entirely different type of spurious material is 
represented by the frequent interpolations in the 
text. These consist of later additions, of passages 

1 De Epistolarum Actor unique quae a Scriptoribus 
feruntur Fide atque Auctoritate. Pars I. (Bonn, 1870) ; see 
also E. Klebs, Rhein. Mus., xliii. (1888), p. 328 f. 

2 e.g. ix. 10 and xiv. 8 ; see Peter, Scriptores, p. 197 f. 
:f Peter, Scriptores, p. 156 f. 



introduced by editors of the whole series, and of 
notes added by commentators, presumably on the 
margins, and subsequently incorporated in the body 
of the work. 1 Frequently they are inserted with 
utter disregard to the context, so that the continuity 
of a passage is completely interrupted. They vary- 
in size from passages of several pages to brief notes 
of a few lines. The most extensive is a long passage 
in the vita of Marcus, which is inserted between the 
two main portions of the biography. 2 It consists of 
an epitome of the events of the latter part of his 
reign, enumerated again and at greater length in the 
second main portion of the vita. That this epitome 
is an interpolation is evident not only from the 
double narrative of certain events, but also from the 
fact that it agrees closely with the narrative of 
Marcus' reign which is found in Eutropius. 3 

An extensive interpolation has been made also in 
the Vita Severi. Here, however, the problem is less 
simple. The detailed narrative of the earlier part of 
Severus' reign 4 is followed by a brief summary of 
the events of the whole period of his rule, 5 closing 
with a long address to Diocletian. 6 This summary is 
little more than a duplicate of the account of Severus' 
reign as given by Aurelius Victor in his Caemres, 1 

1 Peter has attempted in his second edition of the text to 
distinguish the various types by different kinds of parentheses ; 
see his Praefatio, p. xxxiv. 

2 c. xv. 3. xix. 12. 

3 Breviarium, viii. 11-14. Eutropius' material is generally 
supposed to have been taken from an extensive history of the 
empire, now lost, which is usually termed the "Imperial 
Chronicle" (Kaiserchronik) ; see A. Eumaun, Eine Verlorcne 
Geschichte der Romischen Kaiser, Philologus, Suppl. Band iv. 
(1884), pp. 337-501. 

4 c. i. xvii. 4. 8 c. xvii. 5 xix. 

8 c. xx.-xxi. 7 Gaes., xx. 1-3. 




and either it has been taken directly from Victor 
or it is a parallel excerpt from his source, the 
" Imperial Chronicle ". It, in turn, is followed by a 
section containing the narration of single incidents, 
frequently repetitions of what has preceded, forming 
a loosely composed and ill connected appendix to the 
whole. 1 

Similar additions are to be found in the vita of 
Caracalla ; 2 they contain repetitions and elaborations 
of previously narrated incidents and are evidently 
not the work of the writer of the bulk of the life. 
Besides these longer and more obvious interpolations 
there are countless others of varying extent, consisting 
of entries of new material and corrections and 
comments of later writers. Many of these have been 
inserted in the most inappropriate places, to the great 
detriment of the narrative, and the excision of these 
passages would contribute greatly to the intelligibility 
of many a vita. 

The literary, as well as the historical, value of the 
Historia Augusta has suffered greatly as a result of 
the method of its composition. In the arrangement 
in categories of the historical material, the authors did 
but follow the accepted principles of the art of bio- 
graphy as practised in antiquity, but their narratives, 
consisting often of mere excerpts arranged .without 
regard to connexion or transition, lack grace and 
even cohesion. The over-emphasis of personal 
details and the introduction of anecdotal material 
destroy the proportion of many sections, and the 
insertion of forged documents interrupts the course 
of the narrative, without adding anything of historical 
value or even of general interest. Finally, the 

1 c, xxii,-xxiv. 2 c. vii.-viii. ; x. 1 xi. 4. 



later addition of lengthy passages and brief notes, 
frequently in paragraphs with the general content of 
which they have no connexion, has put the crowning 
touch to the awkwardness and incoherence of the 
whole, with the result that the oft-repeated charge 
seems almost justified, that these biographies are 
little more than literary monstrosities. 




IN spite of its defects in style, its deliberate falsifica- 
tions, and the trivial character of much of its con- 
tent, the Historia Augusta has always been a subject 
for scholarly research and an important source for the 
history of the second and third centuries. At the 
beginning of the sixth century it was used by Aurelius 
Memmius Symmachus, 1 the last member of a famous 
family, in his Historia Romana, the sole extant frag- 
ment of which 2 cites at considerable length the vita 
of the Maximini. Later, several selections from it 
were included in the elaborate Collectaneum* or col- 

1 Consul in 485. 

2 Preserved in Jordanes, de Rebus Geticis, xv. 83. 

3 Preserved in a manuscript of the twelfth century in the 
library of the Hospital of S'. Nicholas at Cues, near Trier, to 
which it was bequeathed by the famous collector of manu- 
scripts, Nicholas of Cues (Nicolaus Cusanus), on his death in 
1464; see L. Traube, Abh. d. Bayer. Akad., xix. 2 (1891), p. 
364 f., and S. Hellman, Sedulius Scottus, in L. Traube, 
Quellen u. Unters. z. lot. Philol. d. Mittelalters, i. (1906). 



lection of excerpts, made at Liege about 850 by the 
Irish scholar Sedulius Scottus, and citations from the 
Marcus, the Maximini, and the Aurelian are contained 
in Sedulius' Liber de Rectoribus Chrislianis, written 
about 855. 

During the period in which Sedulius was compiling 
his Collectaneum there was copied at the monastery at 
Fulda our chief manuscript, the Codex Palatinus, now 
in the Vatican Library (No. 899). This manuscript, 
written in the ninth century in the Carolingian min- 
uscule of that period, 1 represents a recension of the 
text which is somewhat different from that of the 
excerpts preserved in the Colleclaneum* As early, 
then, as the ninth century there were two editions of 
the Historia Augusta, depending, of course, on a com- 
mon original, but exhibiting minor differences in the 

Such was the interest in Germany in the Historia 
Augusta that not long after this Fulda manuscript was 
finished a copy of it was made, now preserved in the 
library at Bamberg, written in Anglo-Saxon characters 
and dating from the ninth or tenth century. About 
the same period, also, another manuscript was" made 
either from the original of the Fulda manuscript or 
from this codex itself. This was contained in the 
library of the Abbey at Murbach in the eleventh 
century, in the catalogue of which it is listed as Codex 
Spartiani. It was the fate of this manuscript to be 
sent to Erasmus to be used in the preparation of the 
Froben edition of the Hisloria Augusta, published at 

1 H. Dessau, Hermes, xxix. (1894), p. 397 f. 

2 Th. Mommsen, Hermes, xiii. (1878), p. 298 f. But for a 
modification of this view see S. H. Ballou, Tlie Manuscript 
Tradition of the Hist. Aug. (Leipzig, 1914), p, 77 f. 



Basel in 151 8. 1 The first half of the biographies, 
however, had been printed before its arrival, and 
accordingly it could be used for this portion only as 
a source for variant readings, while for the later vitae, 
from the Diadumenus onward, it served as the basis 
of the text. Unfortunately, however, it then dis- 
appeared, and as early as 1738 no trace of it could 
be found. 

At some time between the latter half of the tenth 
and the beginning of the fourteenth century the 
Fulda Codex was taken to Italy and was placed in 
the library of the Cathedral of Verona.' 2 Here it 
was used by Giovanni de Matociis in the preparation 
of his Historia Imperialis, written at Verona at the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, and in the de 
Originibus Re rum of Guglielmo da Pastrengo of 
Verona. 3 Moreover, excerpts from it were included 
in the so-called Flores Mora Hum Auctoritatum, tran- 
scribed in 1329, and still preserved in the Cathedral 

While in Verona the codex containing the Historia 
Augusta came to the notice of Petrarch, presumably 
through Pastrengo, his friend and correspondent. 
That it came into the actual possession of the great 
humanist and formed part of his library has been 
asserted 4 and denied 5 with equal vehemence. It is 
conceded by all, however, that he inscribed on its 

1 H. Dessau, Hermes, xxix. (1894), p. 415. 

2 See R. Sabbadini, Le Scoperte del Codici Latini e Greci 
ne 1 Secoli xiv. e xv. (Florence, 1905), p. 2 f. ; S. H. Ballou, 
p. 38 f. 

; Sabbadini, p. 15 f. 

4 See P. de Nolhac, Petrarque et I'Humanisme, Nouv. Se*r. 
(Paris, 1907), ii. p. 47 f. ; S. H. Ballou, p. 13 f. 
6 E. Hohl, Hermes, li. (1916), p. 154 f. 



margins many notes and comments, and that he had 
a copy of it made at Verona in 1356, 1 to which he 
later added many a comment and correction. The 
results of his study of the biographies, furthermore, 
appear in his works. Thus in his letter de Militia 
Veterum^ he cites the Hadrian, the Pescennius, the 
Avidius Cassius, the Maximini, and the Probus ; and 
in the de Re Publica bene admiiustranda 3 he quotes 
from the Hadrian, the Avidius Cassius, the Elagaba/us, 
the Alexander, and the Aure/ian. 

After the death of Petrarch, the Fulda Codex, it 
has been maintained, came into the possession of 
Coluccio Salutati, 4 and many of the marginal correc- 
tions which it bears are said to be his. On the 
other hand, it has been asserted with equal vigour 
that Coluccio did not even see this manuscript. 5 
However this may be, the Historia Augusta was well 
known to Coluccio, and his letters written in the 
years 1381-93 cite the vitae of Hadrian, Pius, 
Marcus, and Alexander 6 ; moreover, the fact that in 
one letter he names the six authors of the Historia 
Augusta in the order in which they are contained in 
the manuscript 7 seems to indicate that he had a 
first-hand acquaintance with the text. 

1 Codex Parisinus 5816. 

z Epist. de Rebus Familiaribus, xxii. 14 (written in 1360) ; 
see also de Reb. Fam., xx. 4. 

s Epist. Seniles, xiv. 1 (1373) ; see also Ep. Sen., ii. 1 ; xv. 3. 

4 H. Dessau, Hertnes, xxix. (1894), p. 410, n. 2; S. H. 
Ballon, p. 30 f. 

5 Coluccio's use of this codex is denied by Hohl, I.e., p. 158, 
and Klio, xv. (1918), p. 87 f. 

s Epistolario di Coluccio Salutati, ed. by F. Novati (Home, 
1891-6), vol. ii., pp. 40 f., 55, 415. 

7 Epistolario di Coluccio Salutati, ed. by F. Novati (Rome, 
1891-6), vol. ii., p. 299. 



In the fifteenth century the famous codex passed 
into the hands of the merchant and theologian 
Giannozzo Manetti (1396-1459). His possession is 
attested by the presence of his name on the first 
page, 1 and he too is supposed to have shown his 
interest in the Historia Augusta by inscribing many 
a note on the margins. Later, probably in 1587, 2 
with other of Manetti's books, the codex contain- 
ing the Historia Augusta passed to the Palatine 
Library at Heidelberg, there to be known as the 
Codex Palatinus and there to remain until, with the 
rest of that famous collection, it was sent to Rome 
in 1623 by Maximilian of Bavaria, and placed in the 
library of the Vatican. 

The general interest in the Historia Augusta in the 
fifteenth century is well attested by the number of 
manuscripts that were made in that period. 3 Among 
them was the copy of the Codex Palatinus which was 
made by the famous Poggio Bracciolini with his own 
hand and is still preserved in Florence. 4 

The same interest in the Historia Augusta that led 


to the multiplication of the manuscripts was respons- 
ible for its early appearance in printed form. One 
of the recent copies of the Codex Palatinus 5 came 
into the hands of Bonus Accursius and from this was 
made the Editio Princeps, published in Milan in 1475. 
This was soon followed by an Aldine edition published 

1 H. Dessau, I.e., p. 409. 

2 S. H. Ballou, p. 40. 

3 See Peter's text, 2nd Ed. Praefatio, p. xxiii. f. 

4 The Codex Riccardianus 551 ; see S. H. Ballou, p. 29. 

5 Usually supposed to have been the Codex Vaticanus 5301 ; 
see Dessau, I.e., p. 400 f. It has been maintained by Miss 
S. H. Ballou (p. 82 f.), however, that Accursius used Petrarch's 
manuscript, the Parisinus 5816. 



at Venice in 1516, and by the more famous text 
edited by Erasmus, and published by Froben in Basel 
in 1518. 

In these early editions the emphasis had been laid 
on the Latin text, but in the seventeenth century the 
work of the editors included not only textual emen- 
dation, but comment and illustration. Of these 
editions the first was that of Casaubon, published in 
1 603. It was not unnatural that these biographies 
should have attracted the editor of Suetonius and 
Polybius and the scholar who wrote in the preface to 
his edition of the Historia Augusta that "political 
philosophy may be learned from history, and ethical 
from biography". 1 

Casaubon 's edition was soon followed by that of 
Gruter, published at Hanover in l6l I. As professor 
in Heidelberg, Gruter had access to the Codex 
Palatinm and based his text on this manuscript. It is 
therefore not unnatural that he should have con- 
cerned himself most of all with the text. Yet his 
notes are by no means confined to a discussion of the 
readings of his manuscript, but include comment on 
the narrative and the citation of parallels from other 
classical authors. Yet his commentary lacks the 
scope of Casaubon's, and in many a note he refers 
the reader to the work of his great predecessor, 
arnicissimus noster, as he calls him. 2 

The work of Casaubon and Gruter was carried on 
by the great Salmasius (Claude de Saumaise) in his 
edition published in 1620. His contribution con- 
sisted, not in the text, which was merely a re-publi- 

a M. Pattison, Isaac Casaubon, 2nd Ed. (London, 1892), 

p. 440. 

2 e.g. note to Hadr., ii. 5. 



cation of Casaubon 's, but in his commentary. As 
might be expected from one of his great learning, he 
included in his edition notes of wide scope and vast 
erudition, and little was left unnoticed that the 
knowledge of the age afforded. 1 

So far, the Historia Augusta had been a subject for 
textual criticism and comment rather than a source 
for Roman history. The historical researches of the 
humanistic period dealt almost exclusively with the 
Roman Republic, or, at the latest, with Augustus, 2 
and left these imperial biographies untouched. Be- 
sides Giovanni de Matociis and Guglielmo da 
Pastrengo, only Benvenuto Rambaldi da Imola 3 in 
his Romuleon, a compendium of Roman history from 
the founding of Rome to the period of Constantine, 
written soon after 1360, seems to have been largely 
dependent on the Historia Augusta for the history of 
the second and third centuries. In the later Renais- 
sance, when the interest of scholars concerned itself 
with antiquarian, 4 rather than strictly historical, 
research, the biographies would be valuable only for 
incidental information 5 rather than for historical 
material. In the seventeenth century, on the other 
hand, they received serious attention. The de 

1 The notes of Casaubon, Gruter, and Salmasius are all 
incorporated in the variorum edition, published at Leyden in 

2 .G. Voigt, Wiederbelebung d. Class. Alt. (Berlin, 1893), 
ii. p. 490 f. 

3 Used by Casaubon and erroneously cited by him as 
Robertus a Porta Bononiensis, e.g., note to Hadr., i. 1; see 
E. Hohl, Berl. Philol. Woch., xxxv. (1915), 221 f. 

4 See C. Wachsmuth, Einleitung i. d. Stud. d. Alt. Gesch. 
(Leipzig, 1895), p. 7 f. 

5 e.g., the Antiquitates Romanae of J. Rosinus (Basel, 
1585 f.), where the vitae are frequently cited. 



Historicis Romanis of G. J. Vossius, published in 1627, 
devoted considerable space not only to the six bio- 
graphers themselves, their respective dates, and the 
problem of the distribution of the various vitae among 
them, but also to the authors cited by them, especially 
Marius Maximus and Junius Cordus. 1 Of much more 
importance, however, was their use by Lenain de 
Tillemont in his Histoire des Empereurs et des autres 
Princes qui ont reg/ie durant ies six premiers Siecles de 
I'Eglise.* In spite of his general denunciation of the 
biographers as unworthy of the name of historian, 3 
and his occasional strictures on their self-contra- 
dictions, 4 the chronological inexactness of Spartiaiius, 5 
and the crime -inspiring character of Lampridius' 
work, 6 the Historia Augusta was a main source, 
together with Cassius Dio, for that part of his work 
which dealt with the second and third centuries. 

Similarly important was the place that the Historia 
Augusta occupied among the sources used by Gibbon. 
Although his critical acumen detected many an in- 
stance of historical inaccuracy, and although he did 
not hesitate to score single instances with character- 
istic vigour, 7 he accepted in general the information 
that it offered and even the point of view of the 
biographer. 8 

1 See Lib. ii., cap. 2 f . 2 In five volumes. Paris, 1690 f. 

3 16., vol. iii. p. 217. 

4 e.g., ib., iii. p. 447 (Spartiaiius) ; iii. p. 489 f. (Gapitoli- 
nus) ; iii. p. 526 (Follio.) 

5 Ib., ii. p. 518 ; iii. pp. 448 f., 459. 6 Ib., ii. p. 281. 

1 e.g., his contrast between Cassius Dio who spoke "as a 
senator who had supped with the emperor " and Capitolinus 
who spoke " like a slave who had received his intelligence 
from one of the scullions " ; Gibbon-Bury, vol. i. p. 99. 

s e.g., his erroneous judgment on Gallienus, due to the vita; 
see Gibbon-Bury, vol. i. p. 446. 

xx xi 


In the nineteenth century the work of the bio- 
graphers was still accorded respectful, though not 
uncritical, consideration. Thus Merivale held that 
"we may perhaps rely upon them generally for the 
account of the salient events of history and their 
views of character ; but we must guard against the 
trifling and incredible anecdotes with which they 
abound/' 1 and, true to his principle, he constantly 
cites them as sources. Schiller, too, while observing 
that the later biographies are inferior to the earlier 
ones and that the value of their information varied 
with the source employed, regarded the material that 
they afford as useful for the political history of the 
empire, 2 and used them as sources, considering them, 
apparently, as important as Dio and Herodian. Even 
Mommsen in his Romisches Staalsrecht does not dis- 
dain these biographies, but cites them among his 
authorities in his reconstruction of the public law and 
administration of imperial Rome. It was left for the 
last decade of the nineteenth century and the first 
two decades of the twentieth to bring the charge of 
utter spuriousness against the Historia Augusta and to 
assort that it is the work of a forger 3 a charge which, 
in return, has led to a somewhat fanciful attempt to 
trace through many of the biographies the purple 
thread of an otherwise unknown historian of prime 
importance. 4 

1 Hist, of the Romans under the Empire, 4th Ed. (American 
reprint, New York 1863-65), vii. p. 321, n. 1. 

2 Gesch. d. Rom. Kaiserzeit (Gotha, 1883), pp. 595 f. and 

"H.Dessau, Hermes, xxiv. (1889), pp. 337-392; xxvii. (1892), 
pp. 561-605. 

4 O. Th. Schulz, Beitrdge z. Kritik uns. litt. Ueberlieferung 
f. d. Zeit von Commodus' Sturze bis auf d. Tod d. M. Aurelius 
Antoninus (Caracalld), Leipzig, 1903. 


THE manuscripts of the Historia Augusta are divided 
into two main classes, each of which has such definite 
characteristics that the distinction between them is 
sharp and clear. Both classes are, indeed, derived 
from a common original, made after the loss of the 
vitae of the emperors from Philip to Valerian l and 
of considerable portions of the vitae of the Valeriani 
and the Gallieni. On the other hand, there is a con- 
spicuous difference between the two classes in the 
manner in which the text has been treated. In one 
class, usually designated as Class IT, the treatment 
has been most conservative. The text has been pre- 
served free from all interpolations or additions, and 
especially the lacunae in the biographies of the Vale- 
riani and the Gallieni have been carefully indicated 
by dots marking the missing letters. This class is 
also characterised by a confusion in the order of the 
biographies between Verus and Alexander and by 
the misplacement of two long passages from the 
Alexander and the Ma.rimini (Alex., xliii. 7 Iviii. 1, 
and Max., v. 3 xviii. 2), each of which corresponds 
to a quire of the original which became loose and 
and was then inserted in a wrong place. A similar 

Intro., p. xiv. 



transposition occurs in the Cants, where c. xiii. 1 
xv. 5 has been inserted in c. ii. 

The manuscripts of the other class, designated as 
Class X differ from those of Class IT in that the text 
has been treated with the utmost freedom. In many 
places, where the original was corrupt, drastic emen- 
dations have been made, and where none seemed 
possible, the corrupt parts have been omitted alto- 
gether. This is especially conspicuous in the lacunae 
in the vitae of the Valeriani and the Gallieni, where 
all trace of the loss has been covered up by the in- 
sertion of words and the formation of a continuous 
text. In all this the aim has been to construct a 
smooth and easily readable narrative. In other places, 
such as the end of the CaracaVa and of the Ma.vimus- 
Balbimis and the beginning of the Valeriani, additions 
have been made to the text ; and in the case of the 
Marcus considerable sections have been shifted about 
and then connected in their new places bv arbitrary 
changes in the context. It is also characteristic of 
this class that the vitae. (with the single exception of 
the Avidius Caxsiifs) are arranged in chronological 
order and that the sections transposed in Class II are 
in their rightful places. 

The manuscripts of Class IT were supposed by 
Peter to consist of three main groups, all derived 
from the same archetype, and represented respec- 
tively by the Codex Palatinus 899 (P) ; the Codex 
Bambergensis (B) ; and the Codex Vaticanus 5301 
with others. Peter accordingly regarded the Pala- 
tinus and the Bambergensis as equally authoritative. 
More recent investigation, however, as carried on by 
Mommsen 1 and Dessau, 2 has shown that the Codex 

*Hfrm., xxv. (1890), pp. 281-292 = Qes. Schr., vii., pp. 

*Herm. t xxix. (1894), pp. 893-416. 



Palatinits is the parent manuscript, and that all the 
others of Class II are only direct or indirect copies 
of it. All contain errors and omissions which can 
be due only to a transcription of the Palatinus, over 
faithful or unskilful, as the case may be. Accord- 
ingly,, only the Palatinus can be regarded as authori- 
tative in this class, and the others may be used only 
for the purpose of confirmation or supplement. 

The tradition contained in the manuscripts of 
Class 2, though regarded as untrustworthy by Peter, 
was admitted by him to be possibly independent of 
that of Class II. This independence is more strongly 
maintained by Dr. Ernst Hohl. 1 He points to the 
chronological order of the vitae and to the correct 
arrangement of the quires transposed in the manu- 
scripts of Class II as evidence for his conviction that 
the manuscripts of this class represent a tradition 
different from that of Class II, although, as the 
various omissions show, derived from a common 
original. He has, furthermore, cited in proof of his 
theory various passages in the biographies of Alex- 
ander and Aurelian contained in the manuscripts of 
Class S but not in the Codex Palatinus, and argues that 
these were excised from the original of the latter be- 
cause of allusions to pagan deities. These considera- 
tions, together with a number of readings which are 
better than those of the Palatinus, have convinced 
him that the 2 manuscripts are derived ultimately 
from an original at least as old as the Palatinus 
and retaining more correctly many of the readings 
of their common archetype. On the other hand, 

io., xiii. (1913), pp. 258-288, 387-423; xv. (1918), 
pp. 78-98. 



Miss Susan H. Ballou, 1 following the opinion ex- 
pressed by Dessau, argues that these divergencies 
from the tradition of Class IT are of such a character 
that they can be merely the work of a clever, though 
unscrupulous, redactor. She holds that this man 
made his transcription from the Codex Palatinus, 
having before him all the corrections and additions 
that had been introduced by all th Q later correctors, 
and taking from all of them as many as suited his 
purpose. This transcription, she believes, was the 
original of the extant 2 manuscripts, which, accord- 
ingly, represent, not an independent tradition, but 
merely the work of an editor, who by means of 
intelligent and original treatment of the material 
contained in the Palatinns and by the unscrupulous 
use of interpolation and re-arrangement, created a 
readable but unsound version of the text. 

With only the present evidence available the 
problem of the value of the manuscripts of Class 2 
must be regarded as still unsolved. The arguments 
advanced by Dr. Hohl are not altogether convincing, 
and it has not yet been fully demonstrated that the 
tradition of the 2 manuscripts is independent of 
those of Class II. For the present, therefore, any 
constitution of the text must be based on the 
readings of the Codex Palatinus. 

1 The Manuscript Tradition of the Historia Augusta, 
Leipzig, 1914. 




Editio Princeps : edited by Bonus Accursius, Milan, 1475. 
Venice Editions : printed by Bernadinus Ricius (Rizus), 

1489, and J. Rubens de Vercellis, 1490. 
Aldine Edition: edited by J. 13. Egnatius, Venice, 1516; 

Florence, 1519. 

Desiderius Erasmus : published by Froben, Basel, 1518. 
Isaac Gasaubon : Paris, 1603. 
Janus Gruter : Hanover, 1611. 
Claudius Salmasius; containing also Casaubou's notes: 

Paris, 1620; London, 1652. 
C. Schrevel: Leyden, 1661. 
Variorum Edition ; containing the commentaries of 

Casaubon, Gruter, and Salmasius : published by Hack, 

Leydeu, 1671. 

Ulrich Obreclit : Strassburg, 1677. 
J. P. Schmidt, with preface by J. L. E. Piittmann : Leipzig, 

Bipontine Edition, 2 vols. : Zweibriicken and Strassburg, 

1787 and 1789. 

Panckouke, 3 vols. : Paris, 1844-1847. 
Thomas Vallaurius : Turin, 1853. 
H. Jordan and F. Eyssenhardt, 2 vols. : Berlin, 1864. 
Hermann Peter, 2 vols. (Teubner Text) : Leipzig, 1st 

Edition, 1865 ; 2nd Edition, Ib84. 


J. P. Ostertag, 2 vols.: Frankfurt a. Main, 1790, 

L. Storch; Hadrian, Aelius, and Antoninus Pius: 

Prenzlau, 1829. 
C. A. Gloss, 6 vols. : Stuttgart, 1856-1857. 

G. de Moulines, 3 vols.: Berlin, 1783; 2nd Edition, 

Paris, 1806. 

Th. Baudement (collection Nisard) : Paris, 1845,. 

F. Navarro y Galvo, 2 vols. : Madrid, 1889-1890. 



SCHOLARLY research pursued since the first publication of 
this work in 1922 now requires modification of some of the 
editor's views. Most authorities today are persuaded that 
the ostensible multiple authorship of these lives is a wilful 
deception, that one person is responsible for the collection 
and the insertion into it of documents which are sheer 
fabrications, and that the date of this activity is about 
A.D. 395. 

Volume III of this edition contains on pages vii-x a 
bibliographical appendix (1919-1967), to which the follow- 
ing important works (the first two with extensive biblio- 
graphies) must now be added: 

SYME, SIR RONALD: Ammianus and the Historia Augusta, 

Oxford 1968. 
SYME, SIR RONALD: Emperors and Biography: Studies in 

the Historia Augusta, Oxford 1971. 
BARNES, T. D.: Sources of the Historia Augusta, Bruxelles 


SYME, SIR RONALD: Historia Augusta Papers, Oxford 1983. 

G. P. G. 





H A D R I A N I 

I. Origo imperatoris Hadrian! vetustiora Picentibus, 
posterior ab Hispaniensibus manat ; si quidem Hadria 
ortos maiores suos apud Italicam Scipionum tempori- 
bus resedisse in libris vitae suae Hadrianus ipse 

2 commemorat. 1 Hadriano pater Aelius Hadrianus 
cognomen to Afer fuit, consobrinus Traiani impera- 
toris ; mater Domitia Paulina Gadibus orta, soror 
Paulina nupta Serviano, uxor Sabina, atavus Marul- 
linus, qui primus in sua familia senator populi 
Roman i fuit. 

3 Natus est Romae VIII1 kal. Feb. Vespasiano septies 

1 commemarat P corr. ; commemoret P 1 , Petsehenig. 

1 For the Autobiography of Hadrian, now lost, cf. c. xvi. It 
seems to have been written toward the close of his life, and, 
to judge from scanty citations from it, its purpose was to con- 
tradict current statements about himself which he considered 
derogatory to his reputation and to present him in a favour- 
able light to posterity. 

2 An ancient town of Picenum, which became a Roman 
colony, probably about the time of Sulla. 

3 In Hispania Baetica, on the Baetis (Guadalquiver), 




I. The original home of the family of the Emperor 
Hadrian was Picenum, the later, Spain ; for Hadrian 
himself relates in his autobiography l that his fore- 
fathers came from Hadria, 2 but settled at Italica 3 in 
the time of the Scipios. The father of Hadrian was 
Aelius Hadrianus, surnamed Afer, a cousin of the 
Emperor Trajan ; his mother was Domitia Paulina, a 
native of Cadiz ; his sister was Paulina, the wife of 
Servianus, 4 his wife was Sabina, 5 and his great-grand- 
father's grandfather was Marullinus, the first of his 
family to be a Roman senator. 

Hadrian was born in Rome 6 on the ninth day be- 24 Jan. ,76 
fore the Kalends of February in the seventh consul- 
founded by Scipio Africanus about 205 B.C., received the 
rights of a municipality under Julius or Augustus, and was 
made a colony by Hadrian. 

4 L. Julius Ursus Servianus frequently mentioned in this 
biography. He governed several provinces under Trajan, and 
was made consul for a third time by Hadrian in 134. On his 
death in 136, see c. xxiii. 2, 8 ; xxv. 8 ; Dio, Ixix. 17. 

5 See c. ii. 10 and note. 

"This is, of course, a fiction, and the biography contradicts 
itself, for Italica is clearly the patria referred to in c. ii. 1 
and 2, and c. xix. 1. 



4 et Tito quinquies consulibus. ac decimo aetatis anno 

patre orbatus Ulpium Traianum praetorium tune, 1 

consobrinum suum, qui postea imperium tenuit, et 

Caelium Attianum equitem Romanum tutores habuit. 

5imbutusque impensius Graecis studiis, ingenio eius 

sic ad ea declinante ut a nonnullis Graeculus 

II. diceretur. quintodecimo anno ad patriam rediit ac 

statim militiam iniit, venandi 2 usque ad reprehen- 

2 sionem studiosus. quare a Traiano abductus a patria 
et pro filio habitus nee multo post decemvir litibus 
iudicandis datus atque inde tribunus secundae 

3 Adiutricis legionis creatus. post hoc in inferiorem 
Moesiamtranslatus extremis iam Domitiani 3 tempori- 

4 bus. ibi a mathematico quodam de future imperio 
id dicitur comperisse quod a patruo magno Aelio 
Hadriano peritia caelestium callente praedictum esse 

5compererat. Traiano a Nerva adoptato ad gratula- 
tionem exercitus missus in 4 Germaniam superiorem 

1 tune P 1 ; uirum P corr. 2 uenandi Novak ; uenando 

P, Peter. s domitianis P 1 , Petschenig. *in omitted 

by P 1 , added by P corr. 

1 Trajan was praetor about 85, and so, until he became 
consul, in 91, was a vir praetorius. 

2 The name Caelius is an error. His name was Acilius 
Attianus, as it appears on an inscription from Elba ; see Rom. 
Mitt., xviii. 63-67. He became prefect of the guard under 
Trajan and seems to have been instrumental in securing the 
throne for Hadrian. On his retirement from the prefecture, 
see c. viii. 7 ; ix. 3-5. 

3 The decemviri stlitibus iudicandis had originally, in the 
republican period, the duty of determining disputed claims 
to freedom. Augustus removed suits for freedom from their 
jurisdiction, and gave them the conduct of the court of the 
Centumviri, which dealt with suits for inheritances. Ap- 
pointment to this, or to one of five other minor magisterial 



ship of Vespasian and the fifth of Titus. Bereft of 
his father at the age of ten, he became the ward of 
Ulpius Trajanus, his cousin, then of praetorian rank, 1 
but afterwards emperor, and of Caelius Attianus, 2 a 
knight. He then grew rather deeply devoted to 
Greek studies, to which his natural tastes inclined so 
much that some called him " Greekling." II. He 
returned to his native city in his fifteenth year and 
at once entered military service, but was so fond of 
hunting that he incurred criticism for it, and for this 
reason Trajan recalled him from Italica. Thence- 
forth he was treated by Trajan as his own son, and not 
long afterwards he was made one of the ten judges 
of the inheritance-court, 3 and, later, tribune of the 
Second Legion, the Adjutrix. 4 After this, when 
Domitian's principate was drawing to a close, he was 
transferred to the province of Lower Moesia. 5 
There, it is said, he heard from an astrologer the 
same prediction of his future power which had been 
made, as he already knew, by his great-uncle, Aelius 
Hadrianus, a master of astrology. When Trajan was 
adopted 6 by Nerva, Hadrian was sent to convey to 
him the army's congratulations and was at once 

boards constituting the vigintiviri, was the first step in a 
career of public office. 

4 So called because it had been recruited (by Vespasian) 
from an auxiliary force of marines. At this time it was serv- 
ing probably in the province of Pannonia Inferior. 

5 As tribune of the Fifth Legion, the Macedonica. This 
command is listed among his other offices in an inscription 
set up in his honour at Athens in 112 (C.I.L., iii. 550 = Dessau, 
Inscr. Sel., 308), and it is known that this legion was quartered 
in Moesia Inferior at this time. 

6 Trajan was governor of the province of Germania 
Superior ; he seems to have been appointed by Nerva in 96. 


6translatus est. ex qua festinans ad Traianum, ut 
primus nuntiaret excessum Nervae, a Serviano, sororis 
viro, (qui et sumptibus et aere alieno eius prodito 
Traiani odium in eura movit) diu detentus fracto- 
que consulte vehiculo tardatus, pedibus iter faciens 

7 eiusdem Serviani beneficiarium antevenit. fuitque 
in amore Traiani, nee tamen ei per paedagogos 
puerorum quos Traianus impensius diligebat, . . . 

8 Gallo favente : defuit. quo quidem tempore cum 
sollicitus de imperatoris erga se iudicio, Vergilianas 
sortes consuleret, 

Quis procul ille autem ramis insignis olivae 
sacra ferens ? nosco crines incanaque menta 
regis Romani, primam qui legibus urbem 
fundabit, Curibus parvis et paupere terra 
missus in imperium magnum, cui deinde subibit . . . 

sors excidit, quam alii ex Sibyllinis versibus ei prove- 
9nisse dixerunt. habuit autem praesumptionem im- 

perii mox futuri ex fano quoque Nicephorii lovis 

manante response, quod Apollonius Syrus Platonicus 
lOlibris suis indidit. denique statim suffragante Sura 

ad amicitiam Traiani pleniorem rediit, nepte per 

1 Lacuna suggested by Gemoll ; diligebat Gallo fauente de- 
fuit P. 

1 As tribune of the Twenty-second Legion, the Primigenia 
Pia Fidelis, according to the Athenian inscription (see p. 5, 
n. 5). 

2 A beneficiarius was a soldier who had been relieved of 
active service by some commandant and was attached to the 
suite of this official. 

3 For similar consultations, cf. Cl. Alb., v. 4 ; Alex., iv. 6 ; 
xiv. 5 ; Claud., x. 4f. 

4 Aen., vi 808-812. The passage refers to Numa Pompilius. 

5 Perhaps the place of this name near Pergamon, 

6 Unknown. 


transferred to Upper Germany. 1 When Nerva died, Oct., 97. 
he wished to be the first to bring the news to Trajan, 
but as he was hastening to meet him he was detained 
by his brother-in-law, Servianus, the same man who 
had revealed Hadrian's extravagance and indebted- 
ness and thus stirred Trajan's anger against him. He 
was further delayed by the fact that his travelling- 
carriage had been designedly broken, but he never- 
theless proceeded on foot and anticipitated Servianus' 
personal messenger. 2 And now he became a 
favourite of Trajan's, and yet, owing to the activity of 
the guardians of certain boys whom Trajan loved 
ardently, he was not free from . . . which Gallus 
fostered. Indeed, at this time he was even anxious 
about the Emperor's attitude towards him, and con- 
sulted the Vergilian oracle. 3 This was the lot given 
out : 4 

But who is yonder man, by olive wreath 
Distinguished, who the sacred vessel bears ? 
I see a hoary head and beard. Behold 
The Roman King whose laws shall stablish Rome 
Anew, from tiny Cures' humble land 
Called to a mighty realm. Then shall arise . . . 
Others, however, declare that this prophecy came to 
him from the Sibylline Verses. Moreover, he re- 
ceived a further intimation of his subsequent power, 
in a response which issued from the temple of Jupiter 
at Nicephorium 5 and has been quoted by Apol- 
lonius of Syria, 6 the Platonist. Finally, through the 
good offices of Sura, 7 he was instantly restored to a 
friendship with Trajan that was closer than ever, and 

7 L. Licinius Sura was consul for the third time in 107. 
He commanded the army in the wars in Dacia and received 
the triumphal insignia and other high honours. 



sororem Traiani uxore accepta favente Plotina, Traiano 
leviter, ut Marius Maximus dicit, volente. 

III. Quaesturam gessit Traiano quater et Articuleio 
consul ibus, in qua cum orationem imperatoris in 
senatu agrestius pronuntians risus esset, usque ad 
summam peritiam et facundiam Latinis operam dedit. 

2 post quaesturam acta senatus curavit atque ad bellum 

3 Dacicum Traianum familiarius prosecutus est ; quando 
quidem et indulsisse vino se dicit Traiani moribus 
obsequentem atque ob hoc se a Traiano locupletissime 

4muneratum. tribunus plebis factus est Candido et 

5 Quadrato iterum consulibus, in quo magistratu ad 
perpetuam tribuniciam potestatem omen sibi factum 
adserit, quod paenulas amiserit, quibus uti tribuni 
plebis pluviae tempore solebant, imperatores autem 
numquam. unde hodieque imperatores sine paenulis 

6 a togatis videntur. secunda expeditione Dacica 
Traianus eum primae legioni Minerviae praeposuit 
secumque duxit ; quando quidem multa egregia eius 

7 facta claruerunt. quare adamante gemma quam Tra- 

1 Vibia Sabina, the daughter of L. Vibius and Matidia, who 
was the daughter of Marciana, Trajan's sister. Plotina was 
Trajan's wife. 

2 L. Marius Maximus was the author of biographies of the 
emperors from Nerva to Elagabalus, frequently cited in these 
Vitae ; see Intro., p. xvii f. He is probably the senator of 
the same name who held many important administrative 
posts under Septimius Severus and his successors. 

3 He is called in the Athenian inscription quaestor impera- 
toris Traiani, i.e. he was one of the quaestors detailed to 
transact business for the emperor, and particularly to con- 
vey his messages to the senate and read them before the 

4 The official known as curator actorum senatus or ab actis 
senatus drafted the record of the senate's transactions, 



he took to wife the daughter of the Emperor's sister l 
a marriage advocated by Plotina, but, according to 
Marius Maximus, 2 little desired by Trajan himself. 

He held the quaestorship 3 in the fourth con- 
sulship of Trajan and the first of Articuleius, and 101. 
while holding this office he read a speech of the Em- 
peror's to the senate and provoked a laugh by his 
somewhat provincial accent. He thereupon gave 
attention to the study of Latin until he attained 
the utmost proficiency and fluency. After his 
quaestorship he served as curator of the acts of the 
senate, 4 and later accompanied Trajan in the Dacian 
war 5 on terms of considerable intimacy, seeing, in- 
deed, that falling in with Trajan's habits, as he says 
himself, he partook freely of wine, and for this was 
very richly rewarded by the Emperor. He was made 
tribune of the plebs in the second consulship of 105. 
Candidas and Quadratus, and he claimed that he re- 
ceived an omen of continuous tribunician 6 power 
during this magistracy, because he lost the heavy 
cloak which is worn by the tribunes of the plebs in 
rainy weather, but never by the emperors. And 
down to this day the emperors do not wear cloaks 
when they appear in public before civilians. In the 105-106. 
second Dacian war, Trajan appointed him to the 
command of the First Legion, the Minervia, and took 
him with him to the war ; and in this campaign his 
many remarkable deeds won great renown. Because 
of this he was presented with a diamond which 

5 The first Dacian war (101-102). The inscription cited 
above reads : Comes expeditionis Dacicae, donis militaribus 
db eo (Traiano) donatus bis. 

6 An allusion to the tribunician power held by the emperors, 
which was regarded as the basis of their civil powers ; see 
note to Marc., vi. 6, 



ianus a Nerva acceperat donatus ad spem successionis 

8 erectus est. praetor factus est Suburano 1 bis et Ser- 
viano iterum consulibus, cum sestertium iterum 2 vicies 

9 ad ludos edendos a Traiano accepit. legatus postea 
praetorius in Pannoniam inferiorem missus Sarmatas 
compressit, disciplinam militarem tenuit, procuratores 

lOlatius evagantes coercuit. ob hoc consul est factus. 
in quo magistratu ut 3 a Sura comperit adoptandum 
se a Traiano esse, ab amicis Traiani contemni desiit 

11 ac neglegi. et defuncto 4 quidem Sura Traiani ei 

familiaritas crevit, 5 causa praecipue orationum quas 

IV. pro imperatore dictaverat. usus Plotinae quoque 

favore, cuius studio etiam legatus expeditionis 

2 Parthicae tempore destinatus est. qua quidem 

tempestate utebatur Hadrianus amicitia Sosii Papi et 

Platorii 6 Nepotis ex senatorio ordine, ex equestri 

1 Suburano Mommsen ; sub surano P, Peter. 2 iterum 

deleted by Mommsen. 3 ut P corr. ; et P 1 . 4 defuncto 

P corr. ; deftnito P 1 . 5 creuit P corr. ; areauit P 1 ; crebuit 

Peter. 6 Platori Borghesi ; pletori P. 

1 Due to a precedent established by Augustus, who, when 
ill in 23 B.C., gave his ring to Agrippa, apparently intending 
him to be his successor ; see Dio, liii, 30. 

2 The reading of P is impossible, for no such person as 
Suranus is known, but it is difficult to emend the text 
satisfactorily, since Suburanus was consul for the second time 
in 104, and Servianus was consul for the second time in 102. 
The consuls of 107, in which year Hadrian was probably 
praetor, were Sura, for the third time, and Senecio, for the 
second time. 

3 This province was one of the " imperial provinces," which 
were governed in theory by the emperor but in practice by a 
deputy appointed by him with the title legatus Augusti pro 
praetore. The governor of the province under the control of 
the senate, on the other hand, had the title of proconsul. 



Trajan himself had received from Nerva, and by this 
gift he was encouraged in his hopes of succeeding 
to the throne. 1 He held the praetorship in the 
second consulship of Suburanus and Servianus, 2 
and again received from Trajan two million ses- 
terces with which to give games. Next he was 
sent as praetorian legate to Lower Pannonia, 3 where 
he held the Sarmatians in check, maintained 
discipline among the soldiers, and restrained the 
procurators/ who were overstepping too freely the 
bounds of their power. In return for these services 
he was made consul. While he was holding this 108. 
office he learned from Sura that he was to be adopted 
by Trajan, and thereupon he ceased to be an object 
of contempt and neglect to Trajan's friends. Indeed, 
after Sura's death Trajan's friendship for him in- 
creased, principally on account of the speeches which 
he composed for the Emperor. IV. He enjoyed, too, 
the favour of Plotina, 5 and it was due to her interest 
in him that later, at the time of the campaign against 114. 
Parthia, he was appointed the legate of the Emperor. 6 
At this same time he enjoyed, besides, the friendship 
of Sosius Papus and Platorius Nepos, 7 both of the 

Hadrian is called here legatus praetoriusbec&use he held this 
position as &t4r praetorius, i.e. one who had been praetor but 
not yet consul. 

4 The procurator was charged with the collection of taxes 
and other sources of revenue in an imperial province and their 
transmission to the fiscus, or privy purse. 

5 Of. c. ii. 10. 

6 The appointment as legate refers to his governorship of 
Syria ; see 6. 

7 A. Platorius Nepos was prominent under Trajan as a 
magistrate at Rome and the governor of several important 
provinces and was consul with Hadrian in 119. He after- 
ward incurred Hadrian's enmity ; see c. xv. 2 ; xxiii. 4. 



autem Attiani, tutoris quondam sui, et Liviani et l 

3Turbonis. in adoptionis sponsionem venit Palma 

et Celso, inimicis semper suis et quos postea ipse 

insecutus est, in suspicionem adfectatae 2 tyrannidis 

4 lapsis. secundo consul favore Plotinae factus totam 

5 praesumptionem adoptionis emeruit. corrupisse eum 
Traiani libertos, curasse delicatos eosdemque saepe 
inisse 3 per ea tempora quibus in aula familiarior 4 fuit, 
opinio multa firmavit. 

6 Quintum iduum Augustarum diem legatus Syriae 
litteras adoptionis accepit ; quando et natalem adop- 

7 tionis celebrari iussit. tertium iduum earundem, 
quando et natalem imperii statuit celebrandum, ex- 
cessus ei Traiani nuntiatus est. 

8 Frequens sane opinio fuit Traiano id animi fuisse 
ut Neratium Priscum, non Hadrianum, successorem 
relinqueret, multis amicis in hoc consentientibus, 
usque eo ut Priscp aliquando dixerit : " commendo 

9 tibi provincias, si quid mihi fatale contigerit". et 
multi quidem dicunt Traianum in animo id habuisse, 
ut exemplo Alexandri Macedonis sine certo succes- 

1 et omitted by P, added by Hirschfeld. 2 adfectatae 

Petschenig; adiectaeP; adiectae Peter with Salm. 3 saepe 

inisse Ellis, von Winterfeld ; sepelisse P ; ad se pellexisse Peter 2 . 
4 familiarior P; familiariorum B, Peter. 

X T. Claudius Livianus was prefect of the guard under 
Trajan and held a command in the first Dacian war; see 
Dio, Ixix. 9. 

a For the career of Q Marcius Turbo under Trajan and 
Hadrian see c. v-vii. He was finally appointed prefect of the 
guard ; see c. ix. 4. 

3 A. Cornelius Palma and L. Publilius Celsus held impor- 
tant offices under Trajan and statues were erected in their 



senatorial order, and also of Attianus, his former 
guardian, of Livianus, 1 and of Turbo, 2 all of eques- 
trian rank. And when Palma and Celsus, 3 always 
his enemies, on whom he later took vengeance, fell 
under suspicion of aspiring to the throne, his adoption 
seemed assured ; and it was taken wholly for granted 
when, through Plotina's favour, he was appointed 
consul for the second time. That he was bribing 
Trajan's freedmen and courting and corrupting his 
favourites all the while that he was in close attend- 
ance at court, was told and generally believed. 

On the fifth day before the Ides of August, while 9 Aug. ,117. 
he was governor of Syria, he learned of his adoption 
by Trajan, and he later gave orders to celebrate this 
day as the anniversary of his adoption. On the third 
day before the Ides of August he received the news 11 Aug., 
of Trajan's death, and this day he appointed as the 
anniversary of his accession. 

There was, to be sure, a widely prevailing belief 
that Trajan, with the approval of many of his friends, 
had planned to appoint as his successor not Hadrian 
but Neratius Priscus, 4 even to the extent of once 
saying to Priscus : " I entrust the provinces to your 
care in case anything happens to me ". And, indeed, 
many aver that Trajan had purposed to follow the 
example of Alexander of Macedonia and die without 
naming a successor. Again, many others declare that 

honour. Nothing is known of the suspicion alluded to here, 
but the two men, together with Nigrinus and Lusius Quietus, 
were later accused of a conspiracy against Hadrian and put 
to death ; see c. vii. 1-3. 

4 L. Neratius Priscus was a famous jurist and his works 
were used in the compilation of Justinian's Digest. He was 
a member of Trajan's imperial council, and later was one of 
Hadrian's advisers in legal questions ; see c. xviii. 1. 



sore moreretur, multi ad senatum eum orationem 
voluisse mittere petiturum, ut, si quid ei evenisset, 
principem Romanae rei publicae senatus daret, ad- 
ditis dum taxat nominibus ex quibus optimum idem 
10 senatus eligeret nee desunt qui factione Plotinae 
mortuo iam Traiano Hadrianum in adoptionem ad- 
scitum esse prodiderint, supposito qui pro Traiano 
fessa voce loquebatur. 1 

V. Adeptus imperium ad priscum se statim morem 
instituit et tenendae per orbem terrarum paci operam 
2impendit. 2 nam deficientibus iis nationibus quas 
Traianus subegerat, Mauri lacessebant, Sarmatae 
bellum inferebant, Britanni teneri sub Romana 
dicione non poterant, Aegyptus seditionibus urge- 
batur, Libya 3 denique ac Palaestina rebelles animos 

3 efferebant. quare omnia trans Euphraten ac Tigrim 
reliquit exemplo, ut dicebat, Catonis, qui Macedones 
liberos pronuntiavit, quia tueri non poterant. 

4 Parthamasirin, 4 quern Traianus Parthis regem fecerat, 

1 loqueretur P corr. 2 impendit P corr.. Petschenig, No- 
vak, and Lessing ; intendit P 1 , Peter. * Libya Gas. ; licia 
P. * Parthamasirin, see Prosop. Ill, p. 13; sarmatosirin 
P ; Partomasirin Peter 2 . 

1 Augustus had bequeathed as a policy the concilium coer- 
cendi intra terminos imi-erii (Tacitus, Annals, i. 11), these 
natural boundaries bein? the Koine, Danube, and Euphrates. 
This policy had been abandoned by Trajan in his conquests 
of Dacia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria. Hadrian's 
new policy is proclaimed in the legends on his coins, luttdia 
(Cohen, ii 2 , p. 179 No. 874 f.) and Pax (Cohen, ii 8 , p. 190, No. 
1011 f.). 

2 Ci. 8 and c. vi. 7. : Cf. c. vi. 6. 

4 i.e. Alexandria, where the Jews were rioting, incited per- 
haps by the example of their fellow-countrymen in Palestine. 


he had meant to send an address to the senate, request- 
ing this body, in case aught befell him, to appoint a 
ruler for the Roman empire, and merely appending 
the names of some from among whom the senate 
might choose the best. And the statement has even 
been made that it was not until after Trajan's death 
that Hadrian was declared adopted, and then only 
by means of a trick of Plotina's ; for she smuggled in 
someone who impersonated the Emperor and spo^e 
in a feeble voice. 

V. On taking possession of the imperial power 
Hadrian at once resumed the policy of the early 
emperors. 1 and devoted his attention to maintaining 
peace throughout the world. For the nations which 
Trajan had conquered began to revolt ; the Moor 5 
moreover, be -ran to make attacks,- and the Sarmatians 
to wage mi the Britons could not be kept under 
Roman sway, Egypt * was thrown into disorder by 
riots, and finally Libya * and Palestine 6 showed the 
spirit of rebellion. Whereupon he relinquished all 
the conquests east of the Euphrates and the Tigr.? 
following, as he used tc :~e example of Cato. 

who urcred that the Macedonians, because they could 
not be held as subjects, should be declared free and 
independent." And ParthamasiriSj* appointed king 

5 i.e. the Cyrenaica, where at she end of T~i ; -^ ? :riga 
the Je~ ? had risen 5.-ii massacred many Greek ? md Roman- 

see P: : . 

-.f measure was apparently . ; . : . : : : .:ri ba L sp 
:; :- v : ~ 3.J. stf:er :he Ie:ea.j of 

las: king of M ! Pj&a* see Livy, d IT-lfi 

Ha ws& led _:: ::..- indqpeadea't districts, an 

: ~. - : . ~- er.i- 

- .._ on r for F^mmaspates. This prince had deser: 

i; :; ^f.n, the Parthian k-'-i; ^-i sided :/. flnjaa u 




quod eum non magni ponderis apud Parthos videret, 
proxirnis gentibus dedit regem. 

Tanturn autem statim clementiae studium habuit 
ut, cum sub primis imperil diebus ab Attiano per 
epistolas esset admonitus, ut et Baebius Macer prae- 
fectus urbis, si reniteretur eius imperio. necaretur et 
Laberius Maximus, qui suspectus imperio in insula 
exsulabat, et Frugi Crassus, neminem laederet ; 

6 quamvis Crassum postea procurator egressum insula, 
quasi res novas moliretur, iniusso l eius occiderit. 

7 militibus ob auspicia imperii duplicem largitionem 

8 dedit. Lusium Quietum sublatis gentibus Mauris, 
quos regebat, quia suspectus imperio fuerat, exarmavit, 
Marcio Turbone ludaeis compressis ad deprimendum 
tumultum Mauretaniae destinato. 

;- Post haec Antiochia digressus est ad inspiciendas 

1 iniuxso P, accepted by Petschenig ; iniussu Peter 1 . 

Parthian war ; he was rewarded by being made king after 
Trajan's victory in 116-117. The Parthians deposed him, 
and Hadrian accordingly assigned to him, at least for a time, 
the district of C '.e in north-west r rn Mesopotamia. Cf. 

c. xxi. 10, and Dio, Ixriii. 30 and 33. 

1 The biog'-aphj lipating here. This letter was 

doubtless written after Attianns had returned to Rome with 
Trajan's I 10. 

2 Baebius Ma: er was one of the friends and correspondents 
of :unger Pliny; see Pliny, Epist-., iii. 5. The prefect 

of the city was in command of the three cohorts which were 
responsible for the maintenance of order in Rome. 

. Laberius Maximus seems to have held a command 
in the first Da ^r, and was consul for the second time 

in 103. Nothing further is known of these " designs". 

4 C. Calpurnius Crassus Frugi conspired against Nerva and 
was banished to Tarentum. He was later brought to trial on 
the charge of conspiring against Trajan and was condemned 
(Die, Lrriii. 3 and 16). 

8 Lusius Quietus, a Moor by birth and a captain of a squad- 



of the Parthians by Trajan, he assigned as ruler to the 
neighbouring tribes, because he saw that the man was 
held in little esteem by the Parthians. 

Moreover, he showed at the outset such a wish to 
be lenient, that although Attianus advised him by 
letter in the first few days of his rule l to put to death 
Baebius Macer,- the prefect of the city, in case he op- 
posed his elevation to power, also Laberius Maxim - 
then in exile on an island under suspicion of designs 
on the throne, and like ^.-r [ nssns Frusi.- he never- 
theless refused to harm them. Later on. however, 
his procurator, though without an order from Hadrian, 
had Crassus killed when he tried to leave the island, 
on the ground that he was planning a revolt. He 


gave a double donative to the soldiers in order to ensure 
a favourable beginning to his principate. He deprived 
Lusius Quietus of the command of the M: s 
tribesmen, who were serving under him, and then tfo- 


missed him from the army, because he had fallen 
under the suspicion of having desijy.s ?n the throne : 
and he appointed Marcius TurV ifta his reduction 
of Judaea, to quell the insuiTr.: ;LL in Mauretania. 
After taking these measures he set out from 


Antioch to view the remains of Trajan/ which were 

ron,of Moorish hotse, had . : . :mman:;: :~ Trajan ? 

Parthian ~.vr. He had ? .: bsecuf Een =,r y : . ; : -. :. : . 

of Judaea by Erajan DM - sad :-.:-. Hoorh troops 
was a r:;^ Binary :c :h; read retireinenc :: J _ i:e:us. 

; - ce he was ^ : on .-. : to fee : ~ er any resiauan DC bo H . ; \ 
He "^> . :Afi;._-;:. : : _- . :;^5..H5: i..A..:_. ^:I 

was y .: : : . :. . . : . : 9BO f 

s Proc :.:-.: ? . . : sr Trajan's body was btc _ : 

from Selinu^ aa ; y MM nl - aal B ! ':.' 

WAS c-ir^rvi and she adhaa ami bo Rome; of. V..:.: :- . 



reliquias Traiani, quas Attianus, Plotina et Matidia 
10 deferebant. quibus exceptis et navi Romam dimissis 
ipse Antiochiam regressus praepositoque Syriae Catilio 
Severe per Illyricum Romam venit. 

VI. Traiano di vinos honores datis ad senatum et qui- 
dem accuratissimis litteris postulavit et cunctis volenti- 
bus meruit, ita ut senatus multa, quae Hadrianus non 
postulaverat, iu honorem Traiani sponte decerneret. 

2 cum ad senatum scriberet, veniam petiit, quod de 
imperio suo iudicium senatui non dedisset, salutatus 
scilicet praepropere a militibus imperator, quod esse 

3 res publica sine imperatore non posset, cum tri- 
umphum ei senatus, qui Traiano debitus erat, detulis- 
set, recusavit ipse atque imaginem Traiani curru 
triumphali vexit, ut optimus imperator ne post mortem 

4 quidem triumphi amitteret dignitatem, patris patriae 
nomen delatum sibi statim et iterum postea distulit, 

5 quod hoc nomen Augustus sero meruisset. aurum 

1 See note to c. ii. 10. 

2 L. Catilius Severus was a friend and correspondent of 
Pliny; see Pliny, Epist.,i. 22 ; iii. 12. He became consul for 
the second time in 120, was proconsul of Asia, and in 138 pre- 
fect of the city ; see c. xxiv. 6-8. He was the great-grand- 
father of Marcus Aurelius ; see Marc., i. 4. 

3 Used here to denote the provinces along the southern 
bank of the Danube. His route lay across Asia Minor, and it 
was probably in this region that he received the news of the 
war threatened by the tribes north of the river ; cf. c. vi. 6. 
He arrived in Moesia in the spring of 118, and finally reached 
Eome in July, 118 ; cf. c. vii. 3. 

4 Acclamation by the army constituted a strong de facto 
claim to the imperial power, but it is now generally recognized 
(in spite of Mommsen's theory to the contrary) that only the 
senate could legally confer the imperium. 

5 This triumph was commemorated by coins bearing on the 
obverse the head of Trajan with the legend Divo Traiatw Parth 


HADRIAN V. 10 VI. 5 

being escorted by Attianus, Plotina, and Matidia. 1 
He received them formally and sent them on to Rome 
by ship, and at once returned to Antioch ; he then 
appointed Catilius Severus 2 governor of Syria, and 
proceeded to Rome by way of Illyricum. 3 

VI. Despatching to the senate a carefully worded 
letter, he asked for divine honours for Trajan. This 
request he obtained by a unanimous vote ; indeed, the 
senate voluntarily voted Trajan many more honours 
than Hadrian had requested, i n this letter to the sen- 
ate he apologized because he had not left it the right 
to decide regarding his accession/ explaining that the 
unseemly haste of the troops in acclaiming him em- 
peror was due to the belief that the state could not be 
without an emperor. Later, when the senate offered 
him the triumph which was to have been Trajan's, he 
refused it for himself, and caused the effigy of the dead 
Emperor to be carried in a triumphal chariot, in order 
that the best of emperors might not lose even after 
death the honour of a triumph. 5 Also he refused for 
the present the title of Father of his Country, offered 
to him at the time of his accession and again later 
on, giving as his reason the fact that Augustus 
had not won it until late in life. 6 Of the crown- 

(ico) Aug(usto) Patri and on the reverse a four-horse chariot 
driven by the Emperor who holds a laurel-branch and a 
sceptre, with the legend triumphus Parthicus ; see Cohen, ii 2 , 
p. 78, No. 585. 

. 6 This title was conferred on Augustus in 2 B.C., twenty-five 
years after he received the imperium and the name of 
Augustus. In the case of the Julio-Claudian emperors after 
Tiberius (who never held this title) about a year was allowed 
to elapse before the honour was conferred. Hadrian finally 
accepted it in 128 ; see note to c. xiii. 4. The precedent of 
a postponement was also followed by Pius (Pius, vi. 6), and 
Marcus (Marc., ix. 3). 



coronarium Italiae remisit, in provinciis minuit, et 
quidem difficultat bus aerarii ambitiose ac diligenter 

6 Audito dein tumultu Sarraatarum et Roxolanorum 

7praemissis exercitibus Moesiam petiit. Marcium 

Turbonem post Mauretaniam l praefecturae infulis 

ornatum Pannoniae Daciaeque ad tempus praefecit. 

8 cum rege Roxolanorum, qui de inminutis stipendiis 

querebatur, cogiiito negotio pacem composuit. 

VII. Nigrini insidias, quas ille sacrificanti Hadriano 
conscio sibi Lusio et multis aliis paraverat, cum etiam 
successorem Hadrianus sibimet destinasset, evasit. 

2 quare Palma Tarracinis, Celsus Bails, Nigrinus 
Faventiae, Lusius in itinere senatu iubente, invito 

3 Hadriano, ut ipse in vita sua dicit, occisi sunt. unde 
statim Hadrianus ad refellendam tristissimam de se 

1 Mauretaniam Peter ; maurataneae P 1 ; mauritaniae 
P corr. 

1 A contribution for the purpose of providing gold wreaths 
(in imitation of laurel) which were held over the head of the 
genera] in his triumph. Such contributions were originally 
voluntary, but soon became obligatory. Augustus had re- 
mitted them (Mon. Anc., c. 21), but his example does not seem 
to have been followed by his immediate successors. Partial 
remission is recorded in the cases of Pius (Pius, iv. 10) and 
Alexander (Alex., xxxii. 5), and proclamations of remission 
by Trajan and Marcus are preserved in a papyrus (Fayoum 
Towns and their Papyri, No. 116). 

2 The compressed style of the narrative combines those two 
tribes here, but they must be carefully distinguished. The 
Roxolani lived at the mouth of the Danube ; they had been 
constituted a vassal-state by Trajan. On the other hand, the 
term Sarmatae is used to denote the independent lazyges 



money l for his triumph he remitted Italy's contribu- 
tion, and lessened that of the provinces, all the while 
setting forth grandiloquently and in great detail the 
straits of the public treasury. 

Then, on hearing of the incursions of the Sarma- 
tians and Roxolani, 2 he sent the troops ahead and 
set out for Moesia. He conferred the insignia of a 
prefect on Marcius Turbo after his Mauretanian cam- 
paign and appointed him to the temporary command 
of Pannonia and Dacia. 3 When the king of the 
Roxolani complained of the diminution of his subsidy, 
he investigated his case and made peace with him. 

VII. A plot to murder him while sacrificing was 
made by Nigrinus, with Lusius and a number of 
others as accomplices, even though Hadrian had 
destined 'Nigrinus 4 for the succession ; but Hadrian 
successfully evaded this plot. Because of this con- 
spiracy Pal ma was put to death at Tarracina, Celsus 
at Baiae, Nigrinus at Faventia, 5 and Lusius on his 
journey homeward, all by order of the senate, but 
contrary to the wish of Hadrian, as he says himself 
in his autobiography. Whereupon Hadrian entrusted 

who lived in the great plain between the Theiss and the 

3 This was an extraordinary command, for Pannonia and 
Dacia, like other imperial provinces, were always assigned to 
senatorial legates, and Turbo was a knight. The only instance 
of an equestrian governor was the prefect of Egypt, the viceroy 
of the emperor (who in theory was king of Egypt), and 
this appointment of a knight to govern the provinces on the 
Danube seemed to have a precedent in the prefecture of 
Egypt (cf. c. vii. 3). 

4 Probably C. Avidius Nigrinus, mentioned by Pliny in 
Epist. ad Traian., Ixv. and Ixvi. On the other conspir- 
ators see notes to c. iv. 3, and v. 8. 

5 Now Faenza ; in the Po valley, about thirty miles S.E. 
of Bologna. 



opinionem, quod occidi passus esset uno tempore 
quattuor consulares, Romam venit, Dacia Turboni 
credita, titulo Aegyptiacae praefecturae, quo plus 
auctoritatis haberet, ornato, et ad comprimendam de 
se famam congiarium duplex praesens populo dedit, 

4 ternis iam per singulos aureis se absente divisis. in 
senatu quoque excusatis quae facta erant iuravit se 
numquam senatorem nisi ex senatus sententia pu- 

5niturum. statum l cursum fiscalem instituit, ne 

6 magistratus hoc onere gravareiitur. ad colligendam 
autera gratiam nihil praetermittens, infinitani pe- 
cuniam, quae fisco debebatur, privatis debitoribus in 
urbe atque Italia, in provinciis vero etiam ex reliquiis 
ingentes summas remisit, syngraphis in foro divi 
Traiani, 2 quo magis securitas omnibus roboraretur, 

7incensis. damnatorum bona in fiscum "privatum 

J statum Peter ; statim P (defended by Herzog R. Stvf. II, 
359, 1). 2 hadriani P 1 ; al' traiani P corr. 

1 As he had already done for the soldiers ; see c. v. 7. 

2 A gold coin of the value of 100 sesterces or 25 denarii, or 
(very approximately) five dollars. 

3 It had long been a moot question whether the emperor 
had the right to put senators to death without formal trial and 
condemnation by the senate. Neither the later Julio- 
Claudian nor the Flavian emperors had recognized the right 
of a senator to trial by his fellow-senators only. Nerva, on 
the other hand, took an oath that he would not put a senator 
to death (Dio, Ixviii. 2), and Trajan seems to have followed 
his example (Dio, Ixviii. 5). For the practice of later em- 
perors see Marc., x. 6; xxv. 6; xxvi. 13; xxix. 4. 

4 Also called cursus vehiculariut (Pius, xii. 3), and munus 
vehicularium (Sev. xiv. 2). Previous to Hadrian's reform the 
cost of the maintenance of the post had fallen on the provin- 
cial towns, but henceforth it was borne bythe_/zscws. The 
department was under the direction of an official of equestrian 
rank, known as the praefectus vehicular urn. 

6 The sum remitted was 900,000,000 sesterces; see coins 



the command in Dacia to Turbo, whom he dignified, 
in order to increase his authority, with a rank analogous 
to that of the prefect of Egypt. He then hastened 
to Rome in order to win over public opinion, which 
was hostile to him because of the belief that on one 
single occasion he had suffered four men of consular 
rank to be put to death. In order to check the 
rumours about himself, he gave in person a double 
largess to the people, 1 although in his absence three 
aurei ' 2 had already been given to each of the citizens. 
In the senate, too, he cleared himself of blame for 
what had happened, and pledged himself never to in- 
flict punishment on a senator until after a vote of the 
senate. 3 He established a regular imperial post, 4 in 
order to relieve the local officials of such a burden. 
Moreover, he used every means of gaining popularity. 
He remitted to private debtors in Rome and in Italy 
immense sums of money owed to the privy-purse, 5 
and in the provinces he remitted large amounts of 
arrears ; and he ordered the promissory notes to be 
burned in the Forum of the Deified Trajan, 6 in order 
that the general sense of security might thereby be 
increased. He gave orders that the property of 
condemned persons should not accrue to the privy- 

of 118, Cohen, ii 2 , p. 208 f., Nos. 1210-1213, and an inscription 
found at Rome, C.I.L., vi. 96?r He also issued an order pro- 
viding for a similar cancelling every fifteen years ; see Dio, 
Ixix. 8, 1 ; cf. also Marc., xxiii. 3, and note. 

6 Situated at the south-western corner of the Esquiline Hill, 
a part of which was cut away in order to provide sufficient 
space. It was surrounded by colonnades, portions of which 
are extant, and on its north-western side was the Basilica 
Ulpia ; north-west of this was the column of Trajan, flanked 
by two buildings containing the Bibliotheca Ulpia. Just be- 
yond was the Templum Divi Traiani et Plotinae, erected by 
Hadrian (c. xix. 9). 



redigi vetuit, omni summa in aerario publico recepta. 

8 pueris ac puellis, quibus etiam Traianus alimenta 

gdetulerat, incrementum liberalitatis adiecit. sena- 

toribus, qui non vitio suo decoxerant, patrimonium 

pro liberorum modo senatoriae professionis explevit, 

ita ut plerisque in diem vitae suae dimensum sine 

lodilatione praestiterit. 1 ad honores explendos non 

solum amicis, sed etiam passim aliquantis multa 

11 largitus est. feminas nonnullas ad sustentandam 

12 vitam sumptibus iuvit. gladiatorium munus per sex 
dies continues exhibuit et mille feras natali suo 

VIII. Optimos quosque de senatu in contubernium 

2 imperatoriae maiestatis adscivit. ludos circenses prae- 

3 ter natalicios decretos sibi sprevit. et in contione et 
in senatu saepe dixit ita se rem publicam gesturum ut 

4 scirent 2 populi rem esse, non propriam. tertio con- 
sules, cum ipse ter fuisset, plurimos fecit, infinites 

5 autem secundi consulatus honore cumulavit. ipsum 
autem tertium consulatum et quattuor mensibus 

1 praestiterit Cas. ; restiterit P 1 ; restituerit P corr. 2 sci- 
rent Ellis ; sciret P, Peter. 

1 The alimenta were grants of money paid by the imperial 
government to the children of the poor of Italy. The plan 
was made by Nerva but actually carried out by Trajan. For 
the purpose of the distribution of these grants Italy was 
divided into districts, often known by the name of the great 
roads which traversed them (see Pert., ii. 2). 

2 The sum necessary for the position of senator was 1,000,000 

3 The custom had arisen that on important occasions in 



purse, and in each case deposited the whole amount 
in the public treasury. He made additional appro- 
priations for the children to whom Trajan had allotted 
grants of money. 1 He supplemented the property of 
senators impoverished through no fault of their own, 
making the allowance in each case proportionate to 
the number of children, so that it might be enough 
for a senatorial career 2 ; to many, indeed, he paid 
punctually on the date the amount allotted for their 
living. Sums of money sufficient to enable men to 
hold office he bestowed, not on his friends alone, but 
also on many far and wide, and by his donations he 
helped a number of women to sustain life. He gave 
gladiatorial combats for six days in succession, and 
on his birthday he put into the arena a thousand 
wild beasts. 

VIII. The foremost members of the senate he ad- 
mitted to close intimacy with the emperor's majesty. 
All circus-games decreed in his honour he refused, 
except those held to celebrate his birthday. 3 Both 
in meetings of the people and in the senate he used 
to say that he would so administer the commonwealth 
that men would know that it was not his own but the 
people's. Having himself been consul three times, 
he reappointed many to the consulship for the third 
time and men without number to a second term ; 
his own third consulship he held for only four months, 
and during his term he often administered justice. 

the reign of an emperor races in the Circus should be voted 
by the senate as a mark of honour. From the time of Augus- 
tus the birthday of the emperor was similarly celebrated, and 
in the case of some emperors, e.g. Pertinax and Severus, also 
the natalis imperil or day of the accession to the throne ; see 
Pert., xv. 5, and Dio, Ixxviii. 8. Pius followed Hadrian's 
example in accepting birthday-games only ; see Pius, v. 2. 



6 tantum egit et in eo saepe ius dixit. senatui legitimo, 
cum in urbe vel iuxta urbem esset, semper interfuit. 

7 senatus fastigium in tantum extulit, difficile faciens 
senatores ut, cum Attianum ex praefecto praetorii 
ornamentis consularibus praeditum faceret senatorem, 
nihil se amplius habere quod in eum conferri posset 

8 ostenderit. equites Romanes nee sine se de sena- 

9 toribus nee secum iudicare permisit. erat enim tune 
mos ut, cum princeps causas agnosceret, et senatores 
et equites Romanes in consilium vocaret et sententiam 

10 ex omnium deliberatione proferret. exsecratus est 
denique principes qui minus senatoribus detulissent. 

11 Serviano sororis viro, cui tantum detulit ut ei venienti 
de cubiculo semper occurrerit, tertium consulatum, 
nee secum tamen, cum ille bis ante Hadrianum fuis- 
set, ne esset secundae sententiae, non petenti ac sine 
precatione concessit. 

IX. Inter haec tamen et multas provincias a Traiano 
adquisitas reliquit et theatrum, quod ille in Campo 

J This did not include a seat in the senate, but consisted 
of the privilege of sitting with the senators of consular rank 
at the public festivals and at sacred banquets and of wearing 
the toga praetexta on such occasions. Since the time of Nero 
this honorary rank had often been bestowed on prefects of the 
guard on their retirement from office ; see also Pius, x. 6. 

2 See note to c. vii. 4. 

3 The consilium of the emperor was a development from the 
old principle that a magistrate, before rendering an important 
decision, should ask advice from trusted friends. So Augustus 



He always attended regular meetings of the senate if 
he was present in Rome or even in the neighbourhood. 
In the appointment of senators he showed the utmost 
caution and thereby greatly increased the dignity of 
the senate, and when he removed Attianus from the 
post of prefect of the guard and created him a senator 
with consular honours/ he made it clear that he had 
no greater honour which he could bestow upon him. 
Nor did he allow knights to try cases involving 
senators 2 whether he was present at the trial or not. 
For at that time it was customary for the emperor, 
when he tried cases, to call to his council 3 both 
senators and knights and give a verdict based on 
their joint decision. Finally, he denounced those 
emperors who had not shown this deference to the 
senators. On his brother-in-law Servianus, to whom 
he showed such respect that he would advance to 
meet him as he came from his chamber, he bestowed 
a third consulship, and that without any request or 
entreaty on Servianus' part ; but nevertheless he did 
not appoint him as his own colleague, since Servianus 
had been consul twice before Hadrian, and the 
Emperor did not wish to have second place. 4 

IX. And yet, at the same time, Hadrian abandoned 
many provinces won by Trajan, 5 and also destroyed, 

and his successors had their boards of advisers. Until the time 
of Hadrian this board was not official or permanent, but from, 
his reign on its members, the consiliarii Augusti, had a 
definite position and received a salary. Jurists of distinction 
were included in it ; see c. xviii. 1. 

4 If Servianus, who was consul for the second time in 102, 
were associated with Hadrian in the Emperor's second consul- 
ship in 118 or third in 119, he would by reason of his seniority 
outrank his imperial colleague ; see Mommsen, Rom. Staats- 
recht, hi. p. 976, n. 4. 

5 Of. c. v, 3. 



2Martio posuerat. contra omnium vota destruxit. et 
haec quidem eo tristiora videbantur, quod omnia. 
quae displicere vidisset l Hadrianus. mandata sibi ut 

3faceret secreto- a Traiano esse simulabat. cum At- 
tiani. praefecti sui et quondam tutoris, potentiam 
ferre non posset, nisus est eum obtruncare, sed revo- 
catus est. quia iam quattuor consularium occisorum, 
quorum quidem necem in Attiani consilia refundebat, 

4 premebatur invidia. cui cum successorem dare non 
posset, quia non petebat. id egit ut peteret. atque 
ubi primum petiit, in Turbonem transtulit potesta- 
tem ; cum quidem etiam Simili alteri praefecto 
S pticium Clarum successorem dedit, 

6 Summotis his a praefectura. quibus debebat im- 
perium. Campaniam petiit eiusque omnia oppida 
beneficiis et largitionibus sublevavit, optimum quem- 

7 que amicitiis suis iungens. Romae vero praetorum 
et consulum officia frequentavit. conviviis amicorum 
intermit. aegros bis ac ter die et nonnullos equites 
Romanes ac libertinos visitavit, solaciis refovit. con- 

1 displicere uidisse: P corr. ; displi&re-niur uidisse P 1 . 
*secre:: M:n~ ; e^ ; decreto P 1 ; decreta P corr. 

: --:. 2-3. 

8 Tlie term of office of the prefect of the guard was un- 
lin -:: ~ Eten 1= for life. Th -age seems to show 

that at least a form of voluntary resignation from the office 
was cu? ternary . A::iirus, according to precedent, was ad- 
vanced tc :::-; rial rank with the ornamenta consularia; 
see c. viii. 7. 

3 C. Sulpicius Similis was prefect of the grain-supply, of 
Egypt, ijid, finally, of :he praetorian guard. According to 
Dio (Ixix. 20), it was only difficulty :ha: he secured 
Hadrian's permission to retire. 

4 Frc: "ime of Augustus the old republican principle 
.of colleagueship had been applied to the command of the 
praetorian guard and there riinarilr two prefects with 



contrary to the entreaties of all, the theatre which 
Trajan had built in the Campus Martius. These 
measures, unpopular enough in themselves, were still 
more displeasing to the public because of his pre- 
tence that all acts which he thought would be offen- 
sive had been secretly enjoined upon him by Trajan. 
Unable to endure the power of Attianus, his prefect 
and formerly his guardian, he was eager to murder 
him. He was restrained, however, by the knowledge 
that he already laboured under the odium of murder- 
ing four men of consular rank, 1 although, as a matter 
of fact, he always attributed their execution to the 


designs of Attianus. And as he could not appoint a 
successor for Attianus except at the latter's request, 
he contrived to make him request it, 2 and at once 
transferred the power to Turbo ; at the same time 
Similis 3 also, the other prefect, 4 received a successor, 
namely Septicius Claras. 5 

After Hadrian had removed from the prefecture 
the very men to whom he owed the imperial power, 119. 
he departed for Campania, where he aided all the 
towns of the region by gifts and benefactions 6 and 
attached all the foremost men to his train of friends. 
But when at Rome, he frequently attended the official 
functions of the praetors and consuls, appeared at the 

equal powers. The principle, however, had been disregarded 
at times, e.g. in the case of Sejanus under Tiberius (Dio, Ivii. 
19). Under the later emperors there were sometimes three 
prefects ; cf. Coin., vi. 12 ; Did. JuL, vii. 5 ; Zosimus, i. 11. 

6 C. Septicius Clarus was the friend of Suetonius, who 
dedicated to him his Lives of the Caesars. He also en- 
couraged Pliny to publish his letters; see Plin., Epist., i. 1. 
On his retirement from the prefecture see c. xi. 3. 

6 The following are attested by inscriptions of the years 
121-122: Antium, Caiatia, Surrentum, and the road from 
Naples to Nuceria ; see C.I.L., x. 6652, 4574, 676, 6939, 6940. 



8 siliis sublevavit, conviviis suis semper adhibuit. omnia 

9 denique ad privati hominis niodum fecit, socrui suae 
honores praecipuos impendit ludis gladiatoriis ceteris- 
que officiis. 

X. Post haec profectus in Gallias omnes civitates 
2 variis l liberalitatibus sublevavit. inde in Germaniam 
transiit. pacisque magis quam belli cupidus railitem, 
quasi bellum immmeret, exercuit tolerantiae docu- 
mentis eum imbuens, ipse quoque inter manipula 
vitam militarem magistrans, cibis etiam castrensibus 
in propatulo libenter utens, hoc est larido caseo et 
posca, exemplo Scipionis Aemiliani et Metelli et 
auctoris sui Traiani, multos praemiis nonnullos honori- 
bus donans, ut ferre possent ea quae asperius iube- 

l ciuitates uariis (libertatibus) Bob. Bonon., supported by 
Rosinger and Damste ; casuariis P ; causarios Peter. 

1 By a largess of spices (see c. xix. 5), and by issuing coins 
bearing the legend Divae Matidiae Socrui with a representa- 
tion of a temple-like building in which Matidia is seated be- 
tween niches holding statuettes of Victory ; see Cohen, ii 2 , 
p. 152, No. 550. 

2 His first journey is described in c. x. 1 xi. 2 and xii. 1 
xiii. 3. It covered the years 121-125. Then followed a journey 
to Africa and back in 128. This was followed by his second 
journey, which included the eastern part of the empire only, 
in JL28-134: ; see c. xiii. 6 xiv. 6 (the portion of the journey 
which fell after 130 is not included). 

3 His visit was commemorated by coins with the legends 
Adventui Galliae (Cohen, ii 2 , p. 109 f., Nos. 31-35) and Re- 
stitutor Galliae (Cohen, ii 2 , p. 211, Nos. 1247-1257). 

4 His journey probably lay along the road from Lugdunum 



banquets of his friends, visited them twice or thrice 
a day when they were sick, even those who were 
merely knights and freedmen, cheered them by words 
of comfort, encouraged them by words of advice, and 
very often invited them to his own banquets. In 
short, everything that he did was in the manner of a 
private citizen. On his mother-in-law he bestowed Dec., 11 
especial honour by means of gladiatorial games and 
other ceremonies. 1 

X. After this he travelled 2 to the provinces of 121. 
Gaul, 3 and came to the relief of all the communities 
with various acts of generosity ; and from there he 
went over into Germany. 4 Though more desirous 
of peace than of war, he kept the soldiers in training 
just as if war were imminent, inspired them by 
proofs of his own powers of endurance, actually led a 
soldier's life among the maniples, 5 and, after the 
example of Scipio Aemilianus, 6 Metellus, and his 
own adoptive father Trajan, cheerfully ate out of 
doors such camp-fare as bacon, cheese and vinegar. 
And that the troops might submit more willingly to 
the increased harshness of his orders, he bestowed 
gifts on many and honours on a few. For he re- 
established the discipline of the camp, 7 which since 

(Lyon) to Augusta Treverorum (Trier), which was repaired in 
121; see Brambach, Corp. Inscr. Rhen., 1936. His visit to the 
German armies was commemorated on coins with the legend 
Exercitus Germanicus ; see Cohen, ii' 2 , p. 156, Nos. 573 and 574. 

5 Used here merely to denote the common soldiers ; the 
" maniple " consisted of two centuriae. 

6 i.e. Scipio Africanus the younger, conqueror of Carthage. 
Q. Caecilius Metellus Numidicus commanded in the war 
against Jugurtha in 109-107 B.C. (cf. Sail. Jug., 43-80). 

"' Hadrian's reforms are also described in Dio, Ixix. 9. They 
are commemorated by coins with the legend Disciplina 
Aug(usti) ; see Cohen, ii 2 , p. 151 f., Nos. 540-549. 



3 bat ; si quidem ipse post Caesarem Octavianum 
labantem disciplinam incuria superiorum principum 
retinuit. ordinatis et officiis et impendiis, numquam 
passus aliquem a castris iniuste abesse, cum tribunes 

4 non favor militum sed iustitia commendaret. exemplo 
etiam virtutis suae ceteros adhortatus, cum etiam 
vicena milia pedibus armatus ambularet, triclinia de 

5 castris et porticus et cryptas et topia dirueret, vestem 
humillimam frequenter acciperet, sine auro balteum 
sumeret, sine gemmis fibula stringeret, capulo vix 

6 eburneo spatham clauderet, aegros milites in hospitiis 
suis videret, locum castris caperet, nulli vitem nisi 
robusto et bonae famae daret, nee tribunum nisi plena 
barba faceret aut eius aetatis quae prudentia et annis 

7 tribunatus robor impleret, nee pateretur quicquam tri- 
bunum a milite accipere, delicata omnia undique 
summoveret, arma postremo eorum supellectilemque 

8 corrigeret. de militum etiam aetatibus iudicabat, ne 
quis aut minor quam virtus posceret, aut maior quam 
pateretur humanitas,, in castris contra morem veterem 
versaretur, agebatque, ut sibi semper noti essent, et 

XI. eorum numerus sciretur. laborabat praeterea, ut 
condita militaria diligenter agnosceret, reditus quoque 
provinciales sollerter explorans, ut, si 1 alicubi quip- 
piam deesset, expleret. ante omnes tamen enite- 
batur, ne quid otiosum vel emeret aliquando vel 

1 si omitted by P 1 , added by P corr. 


the time of Octavian had been growing slack through 
the laxity of his predecessors. He regulated, too, 
both the duties and the expenses of the soldiers, and 
now no one could get a leave of absence from camp 
by unfair means, for it was not popularity with the 
troops but just deserts that recommended a man for 
appointment as tribune. He incited others by the 
example of his own soldiery spirit ; he would walk as 
much as twenty miles fully armed ; he cleared the 
camp of banqueting-rooms, porticoes, grottos, and 
bowers, generally wore the commonest clothing, 
would have no sold ornaments on his sword-belt or 


jewels on the clasp, would scarcely consent to have 
his sword furnished with an ivorv hilt, visited the 

sick soldiers in their quarters, selected the sites for 
camps, conferred the centurion's wand on those only 
who were hardy and of good repute, appointed as 
tribunes only men with full beards or ot an age to 
give to the authority of the tribuneship the full mea- 
sure of prudence and maturity, permitted no tribune 
to accept a present from a soldier, banished luxuries 
on every hand, and, lastly, improved the soldiers' 
arms and equipment. Furthermore, with regard to 
length of militarv service he issued an order that no one 
should violate ancient usage by being in the service at 
an earlier age than his strength warranted, or at a 


more advanced one than common humanity permitted. 
He made it a point to be acquainted with the soldiers 
and to know their numbers. XI. Besides this, he 
strove to have an accurate knowledge of the military 
stores, and the receipts from the provinces he examined 
with care in order to make good any deficit that might 
occur in any particular instance. But more than any 
other emperor he made it a point not to purchase or 
maintain anything that was not serviceable. 



2 Ergo conversis regio 1 more militibus Britanniam 
petiit, in qua multa correxit murimique per octoginta 
milia passuilm primus duxit, qui barbaros Romanesque 

3 Septicio Claro praefecto praetorii et Suetonio 
Tranquillo epistularum magistro multisque aliis, quod 
apud Sabinam uxorem iniussu eius 2 familiarius se 
tune egerant quam reverentia domus aulicae postula- 
bat, successores dedit, uxorem etiam ut morosam et 
asperam dimissurus, ut ipse dicebat, si privatus fuisset. 

4et erat curiosus non solum domus suae sed etiam 

amicorum, ita ut per frumentarios occulta orrmia 

exploraret, nee adverterent amici sciri ab imperatore 

suam vitam, priusquarn ipse hoc imperator ostenderet. 

5 unde non iniucundum est rem inserere, ex qua con- 

Gstet eum de amicis multa didicisse. nam cum ad 

quendam scripsisset uxor sua, quod voluptatibus 

1 egregio Novak ; rigido Frankfurter ; recto Baehrens. 
2 iniussu eius P corr. (uniussu P 1 ), defended by Bitschofsky 
(meaning " without his consent") ; in usu eius Peter 2 , fol- 
lowing Petschenig. 

1 From Germany he visited the provinces of Raetia and 
Noricum, and then returned to the lower Rhine, where his 
presence is commemorated in the name Forum Hadriani 
(near Leyden). From Holland he crossed to Britain. The 
legend Adventui Aug. Britanniae appears on coins ; see 
Cohen, ii'-', p. 109, No. 28. 

2 This fortification extended from Wallsend at the mouth 
of the Tyne to Bowness on the Firth of Solway, a distance 
of 73 English miles. Its remains show that it consisted of 
two lines of embankment with a moat between them, and a 
stone wall running parallel on the north. In the space be- 
tween the embankment and the wall were small strongholds 
about a mile apart with an occasional larger stronghold, all 



And so, having reformed the army quite in the 
manner of a monarch, he set out for Britain, 1 and 122. 
there he corrected many abuses and was the first to 
construct a wall, 2 eighty miles in length, which was 
to separate the barbarians from the Romans. 

He removed from office Septicius Clarus, 3 the pre- 
fect of the guard, and Suetonius Tranquillus, 4 the 
imperial secretary, and many others besides, because 
without his consent they had been conducting them- 
selves toward his wife, Sabina, in a more informal 
fashion than the etiquette of the court demanded. 
And, as he was himself wont to say, he would have 
sent away his wife too, on the ground of ill- temper 
and irritability, had he been merely a private citizen. 
Moreover, his vigilance was not confined to his own 
household but extended to those of his friends, and 
by means of his private agents 5 he even pried into 
all their secrets, and so skilfully that they were 
never aware that the Emperor was acquainted with 
their private lives until he revealed it himself. In 
this connection, the insertion of an incident will not 
be unwelcome, showing that he found out much about 
his friends. The wife of a certain man wrote to her 
husband, complaining that he was so preoccupied by 

connected by a military road ; see inscriptions dating from 
Hadrian's time, C.I.I/., vii. 660 f., 835. 

3 See c. ix. 5. 

4 The author of the de Vita Caesarum and the de Viris 

6 The frumentarii, at first petty-officers connected with the 
commissary of the army, became, probably under Trajan, 
couriers charged with the conveyance of military dispatches ; 
see Max.-Balb., x. 3 ; Victor, Goes., xiii. 5, 6. Many of them 
were then attached to the imperial service as a sort of secret 
police; see also Macr., xii. 4 and Claud., xvii. 1. 



detentus et lavacris ad se redire nollet, atque hoc 
Hadrianus per frumentarios cognovisset, petente illo 
commeatum Hadrianus ei lavacra et voluptates ex- 
probravit. cui ille : " num et tibi uxor mea, quod et 
7mihi, scripsit ? " et hoc quidem vitiosissimum putant 
atque huic adiungunt quae de adultorum amore ac 
nuptarum adulteriis, quibus Hadrianus laborasse 
dicitur, adserunt, iungentes quod ne amicis quidem 
servaverit fidem. 

XII. Compositis in Britannia rebus transgressus in 
Galliam Alexandrina seditione turbatus, quae nata 
est ob Apidem, qui, cum repertus esset post multos 
annos, turbas inter populos creavit, apud quern 

2 deberet locari, omnibus studiose certantibus. per 
idem tempus in honorem Plotinae basilicam apud 

3 Nemausum opere mirabili exstruxit. post haec 
Hispanias petiit et Tarracone hiemavit, ubi sumptu 

4suo aedem Augusti restituit. omnibus Hispams 
Tarraconem in conventum vocatis dilectumque 

1 The sacred bullock of the Egyptians, begotten, according 
to their belief, by a ray of light from heaven (Herodotus, iii. 
28). He was recognized by certain markings, including repre- 
sentations of the sun and the moon, and his appearance was 
the occasion of great rejoicing. It was apparently customary 
at this period to keep the young Apis, for a time at least, in the 
locality in which he appeared (Aelian, Nat. An., xi. 10). The 
riot was checked by a severe letter from Hadrian (Dio, Ixix. 
8, 1, frag, from Petr. Patr. exc. Vat. 108). 

2 According to Dio, Ixix. 10, 3, the building was erected in 



pleasures and baths that he would not return home 
to her, and Hadrian found this out through his 
private agents. And so, when the husband asked for 
a furlough, Hadrian reproached him with his fondness 
for his baths and his pleasures. Whereupon the 
man exclaimed : "What, did my wife write you just 
what she wrote to me ? " And, indeed, as for this 
habit of Hadrian's, men regard it as a most grievous 
fault, and add to their criticism the statements which 
are current regarding the passion for males and the 
adulteries with married women to which he is said 
to have been addicted, adding also the charge that 
he did not even keep faith with his friends. 

XII. After arranging matters in Britain he crossed 
over to Gaul, for he was rendered anxious by the 
news of a riot in Alexandria, which arose on account 
of Apis ; l for Apis had been discovered again after 
an interval of many years, and was causing great dis- 
sension among the communities, each one earnestly 
asserting its claim as the place best fitted to be the 
seat of his worship. During this same time he 
reared a basilica of marvellous workmanship at 
Nimes in honour of Plotina. 2 After this he travelled 122-123. 
to Spain 3 and spent the winter at Tarragona, 4 and 
here he restored at his own expense the temple of 
Augustus. To this place, too, he called all the 
inhabitants of Spain for a general meeting, and when 

honour of Plotina after her death, which occurred about this 

3 See the coins with the legend Adventui Aug(ust^) His- 
paniae, Cohen, ii 2 , p. 110. Nos. 36-41. His benefactions and 
public works were commemorated by coins inscribed Resti- 
tutor Hispaniae, Cohen, ii 2 , p. 211 f., Nos. 1258-1272. 

4 Made a Roman colony in 45 B.C. and the chief city of 
Hispania Tarraconensis. 



ioculariter, ut verba ipsa ponit Marius Maximus, 
retractantibus Italicis, vehementissime ceteris pru- 
5denter et 1 caute consuluit. quo quidem tempore 
non sine gloria gravissimum periculum adiit apud 
Tarraconern spatians per viridiaria servo in se hospitis 
cum gladio furiosius inruente. quein retentum ille 
ministris adcurrentibus tradidit et, ubi furiosum esse 
constitit, medicis curaiidum dedit in nullo omnino 

6 Per ea tempora et alias frequenter in plurimis 
locis, in quibus barbari non fluminibus sed limitibus 
dividuntur, stipitibus magnis in modum mural is 
saepis funditus iactis atque conexis barbaros separavit. 

7 Germanis regem constituit, motus Maurorum com- 
8pressit et a senatu supplicationes emeruit. bellum 

Parthorum per idem tempus in motu tantum fuit, 
idque Hadriani conloquio repressum est. 

XIII. Post haec per Asiam et insulas ad Achaiam 

1 et omitted by P, added by B 3 . 

1 Levies from these Italian settlers seem to have been for- 
bidden by Trajan ; see Marc., xi. 7. 

2 Just such a palisade has been found on the German 
frontier where the rivers Main and Neckar do not constitute 
a natural boundary ; see the Limesblatt of the Imperial Ger- 
man Limeskommission for 1894, pp. 302, 483 f., and Pelham, 
Essai/s on Roman History, p. 200 f. 

2 Although not necessarily in person ; see C./.L., viii. praef. 
p. xxi. 



they refused to submit to a levy, the Italian settlers 1 
jestingly, to use the very words of Marius Maximus, 
and the others very vigorously, he took measures 
characterized by skill and discretion. At this same 
time he incurred grave danger and won great glory ; 
for while he was walking about in a garden at Tarra- 
gona one of the slaves of the household rushed at him 
madly with a sword. But he merely laid hold on 
the man, and when the servants ran to the rescue 
handed him over to them. Afterwards, when it was 
found that the man was mad, he turned him over to 
the physicians for treatment, and all this time showed 
not the slightest sign of alarm. 

During this period and on many other occasions 
also, in many regions where the barbarians are held 
back not by rivers but by artificial barriers, Hadrian 
shut them off by means of high stakes planted deep 
in the ground and fastened together in the manner 
of a palisade. 2 He appointed a king for the Germans, 
suppressed revolts among the Moors, 3 and won from 
the senate the usual ceremonies of thanksgiving. 
The war with the Parthians had not at that time ad- 
vanced beyond the preparatory stage, and Hadrian 
checked it by a personal conference. 4 

XIII. After this Hadrian travelled by way of Asia 
and the islands to Greece, 5 and, following the 123-125. 

4 The process of abbreviation has obscured the narrative 
by omitting the description of Hadrian's journey from Spain 
to Syria in the spring of 123. This journey was almost cer- 
tainly made by sea from Spain to Antioch. The danger of 
the Parthian war seems to have been connected with the 
overthrow of the Romanized pretender, Parthamaspates (see 
note to c. v. 4), and the restoration of the legitimate dynasty 
in the person of Osrhoes (cf. c. xiii. 8). 

5 His route lay from the Euphrates across Asia Minor to 
Ancyra in Galatia (cf. I.G.R., iii. 209) and thence to Bithynia, 



navigavit et Eleusinia sacra exemplo Herculis Philip- 
pique suscepit, multa in Athenienses contulit et pro 
2agonotheta resedit. et in Achaia quidem etiam illud 
observatum ferunt quod, cum in sacris multi cultros 
haberent, cum Hadriano nullus armatus ingressus 

3 est. post in Siciliam navigavit, in qua Aetnam 
montem conscendit, ut solis ortum videret arcus 

4 specie, ut dicitur, varium. inde Romam venit atque 
ex ea in Africam transiit ac multum beneficiorum 

5 provinciis Africanis adtribuit. nee quisquam fere 
principum tantum terrarum tarn l celeriter peragravit. 

Denique cum post Africam Romam redisset, statim 

1 tarn Peter ; tantum P, Petschenig. 

where his arrival is commemorated on coins inscribed Ad- 
ventui Aug(usti) Bithyniae (Cohen, ii 2 , p. 109, Nos. 26 and 27) 
and Restitutori Bithyniae (id., p. 210 f., Nos. 1238-1246). He 
then travelled through Mysia, founding the town of Hadriano- 
therae (see c. xx. 13), to Ilion and thence southward to 
Ephesus. From here he sailed to Rhodes (see an inscription 
from Ephesus, Dittenberger, Sylloge 2 , No. 388), northwest 
through the Aegean to Samothrace and Thrace (see an 
inscription from Callipolis of 123-124, C.I.G., 2013). Thence he 
visited the provinces of Moesia and Dacia (see Weber, p. 150 f .), 
and travelled southward through Macedonia and Thessaly 
to Athens, where he arrived probably in September, 124. 

1 Father of Alexander the Great. 

2 Admitted to the lower grade of ^.{xn-ris. On his second visit 
to Athens in 128-129 he was initiated into the higher grade, 
of <?7n$7mjs ; see Dio, Ixix. 11. An epigram inscribed on the 
base of a statue erected in honour of the priestess who initi- 
ated him is extant (I.G., iii. 900 = Kaibel, Epigr. Gr., 864). 

3 The Dionysia, in March, 125. Previous to this he had 
made a journey through the Peloponnesus, visiting the prin- 
cipal cities ; dedications to him are recorded in extant in- 
scriptions, and various benefactions of his are mentioned by 



example of Hercules and Philip, 1 had himself initi- 
ated into the Eleusinian mysteries. 2 He bestowed 
many favours on the Athenians and sat as president 
of the public games. 3 And during this stay in 
Greece care was taken, they say, that when Hadrian 
was present, none should come to a sacrifice armed, 
whereas, as a rule, many carried knives. Afterwards 
he sailed to Sicily, 4 and there he climbed Mount 
Aetna to see the sunrise, which is many-hued, they 
say, like the rainbow. Thence he returned to Rome, 5 
and 6 from there he crossed over to Africa/ where he 128. 
showed many acts of kindness to the provinces. 
Hardly any emperor ever travelled with such speed 
over so much territory. 

Finally, after his return to Rome from Africa, 
he immediately set out for the East, journeying by 

4 Travelling by way of the Corinthian Gulf, he visited 
Delphi (cf. C.I.G., 1713), Actium, and Dyrrhachium, and 
sailed thence to Sicily. His arrival \vas commemorated by 
coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Siciliae (Cohen, ii 2 , p. 112, 
No. 75), and Eestitutori Siciliae (id., ii 2 ,p. 214, Nos. 1292- 

5 In the summer of 125. Coins commemorating his return 
bear the legend Adventui Aug(usti) Italiae (Cohen, ii 2 , p. 110, 
Nos. 42-50). 

6 Here a period of over three years is omitted, in which 
Hadrian built many public buildings in the towns of Italy. 
Early in 128 he finally accepted the title of Pater Patriae 
(cf. note to c. vi. 4) ; see Eckhel, D. N., vi. 515 f. 

7 See the coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Africae and 
Restitutori Africae (Cohen, ii 2 , p. 107 f . , Nos. 8-15, and p. 209 f., 
Nos. 1221-1232), and Adventui Aug(usti) Mauretaniae (Cohen, 
ii 2 , p. Ill, Nos. 63-71). His stay in Africa lasted about four 
months in the spring and early summer of 128. On the 
Kalends of July was delivered his famous allocutio or address 
to the troops at Lambaesis, fragments of which are now in 
the Louvre. 



ad orientem profectus per Athenas iter fecit atque 

opera, quae apud Athenienses coeperat, dedicavit, lit 

lovis Olympii aedem et aram sibi, eodemque modo 

per Asiam iter faciens templa sui nominis consecravit. 

7deinde a Cappadocibus servitia castris profutura sus- 

Scepit. toparchas et reges ad amicitiam invitavit, 

invitato etiam Osdroe rege Parthorum remissaque illi 

filia, quam Traianus ceperat, ac promissa sella, quae 

9 itidem capta fuerat. cumque ad eum quidam reges 

venissent, ita cum his egit ut eos paeniteret, qui 

venire noluerunt, causa speciatim Pharasmanis qui 

lOeius invitationem superbe neglexerit. et circumiens 

quidem provincias procuratores et praeskles pro factis 

supplicio adfecit, ita severe ut accusatores per se 

XIV. crederetur immittere. Antiochenses inter haec ita 

odio habuit ut Syriam a Phoenice separare voluerit, 

ne tot civitatum metropolis Antiochia diceretur. 

1 His stay in Athens was from September 128 to March 129. 

2 The Olympieion, on the southern edge of the city near 
the Ilissos. After the dedication of this building in 131-132, 
Hadrian accepted the title 'O\v/j.-mos and received divine 
honours in the temple (Dio, Ixix. 16, 1) ; hence the ara men- 
tioned here. 

3 They were later called simply " Hadrian's temples," and 
it was asserted that he had intended to consecrate them to 
Christ; see Alex., xliii. 6. They were, in fact, temples dedi- 
cated to the cult of the emperors, including Hadrian himself, 
who was worshipped in the cities of Asia Minor as well as in 
the Olympieion at Athens. In inscriptions he has the cult- 
name Olympics or Zeus Olympics. 

4 The camp of a Cappadocian legion (12th., Fulminata) 
was at Melitene, near the upper Euphrates. Hadrian probably 
travelled thither from Antioch. His visit to the camp was 
commemorated by coins inscribed Exercitus Cappadocicus 
(Cohen, ii* f p. 153, No. 553). 

6 More correctly Osrhoes ; see also note to c. xii. 8. 

6 Antoninus Pius refused to keep this promise; see Pius, ix. 7, 



way of Athens. 1 Here he dedicated the public 
works which he had begun in the city of the 
Athenians, such as the temple to Olympian Jupiter 2 
and an altar to himself; and in the same way, while 
travelling through Asia, he consecrated the temples 
called by his name. 3 Next, he received slaves from 
the Cappadocians for service in the camps. 4 To 
petty rulers and kings he made offers of friendship, 
and even to Osdroes, 5 king of the Parthians. To 
him he also restored his daughter, who had been 
captured by Trajan, and promised to return the 
throne captured at the same time. 6 And when 
some of the kings came to him, he treated them in 
such a way that those who had refused to come re- 
gretted it. He took this course especially on account 
of Pharasmanes, 7 who had haughtily scorned his 
invitation. Furthermore, as he went about the pro- 
vinces he punished procurators and governors as their 
actions demanded, and indeed with such severity 
that it was believed that he incited those who brought 
the accusations. XIV. In the course of these travels 
he conceived such a hatred for the people of Antioch 
that he wished to separate Syria from Phoenicia, in 
order that Antioch might not be called the chief 
city of so many communities. 8 At this time also the 

7 King of the Hiberi, who inhabited part of the district 
which is now Trans-Caucasia. On the gifts exchanged by 
him and Hadrian see c. xvii. 11-12 and xxi. 13. 

8 The statement that Hadrian hated Antioch seems to be con- 
tradicted by the fact that he built many public buildings there ; 
see Malalas, p. 278 B. It may be a deduction from the fact 
that he did raise three other cities of Syria, Tyre, Damascus 
and Samosata, to the rank of /j.i)Tp6iro\is. The actual division 
of Syria into two provinces, Syria Coele and Syria Phoenice, 
took place under Severus in 194. The obj ect of the division was 
to lessen the power of the governor of so important a province. 



2moverunt ea tempestate et ludaei bellum, quod 

3 vetabantur mutilare genitalia. sed in monte Casio, 
cum videndi solis ortus gratia iiocte ascendisset, 
imbre orto fulmen decidens hostiam et victimarium 

4 sacrificanti adflavit. peragrata Arabia Pelusium 
venit et Pompeii tumulum magnificentius exstruxit. 

5 Antinoum suum, dum per Nilum navigat, perdidit, 

6 quern muliebriter flevit. de quo varia fama est, aliis 
eum devotum pro Hadriano adserentibus, aliis quod 
et forma eius ostentat et nimia voluptas Hadriani. 

7et Graeci quidem volente Hadriano eum conse- 
craverunt, oracula per eum dari adserentes, quae 
Hadrianus ipse composuisse iactatur. 

1 According to Dio, Ixix. 12-14, probably a more correct 
account, the outbreak of the war was due to the anger of the 
Jews at the dedication of a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on 
the site of the Temple of Jehovah. This was done in con- 
nection with the "founding" of the new colony in 130; ac- 
cordingly, this sentence is not in chronological order. The 
war was actually begun after Hadrian's departure from 
Egypt, and finally necessitated his return. The outbreak 
was quelled, after much bloodshed, in 134. 

a Probably the mountain of this name at the mouth of the 
river Orontes. This incident is also narrated as having 
happened to Hadrian at Antioch immediately after he be- 
came emperor ; see Dio, Ixix. 2, 1. 

3 See the coins inscribed Adventui Aug(usti) Arabiae 
(Cohen, ii 2 , p. 108 f., Nos. 20-23). He seems to have travelled 
thither by way of Palmyra and Damascus. His visit to 
Gerasa (mod. Djerash), in the north-western part of the pro- 
vince of Arabia, is attested by an inscription of 130 (I.G.R., 
Hi. 1347). From here he went probably by way of Phila- 
delphia (mod., 'Amman) to Jerusalem, which he "founded " 
as the Colonia Aelia Capitolina. 

4 According to Dio, Ixix. 11, 1, Hadrian offered a sacrifice 
to the manes of Pompey and in a line of poetry expressed his 
sorrow at the meanness of the tomb. 

5 He also visited Alexandria, and his arrival was com- 
memorated by coins of the city struck in 130 ; see also the 


Jews began war, because they were forbidden to 
practise circumcision. 1 As he was sacrificing on 
Mount Casius, 2 which he had ascended by night in 
order to see the sunrise, a storm arose, and a flash of 
lightning descended and struck both the victim and 
the attendant. He then travelled through Arabia 3 130. 
and finally came to Pelusium, 4 where he rebuilt Pom- 
pey's tomb on a more magnificent scale. 5 During a 
journey on the Nile he lost Antinous, 6 his favourite, 
and for this youth he wept like a woman. Concerning 
this incident there are varying rumours 7 ; for some 
claim that he had devoted himself to death for Hadrian, 
and others what both his beauty and Hadrian's sensu- 
ality suggest. But however this may be, the Greeks dei- 
fied him at Hadrian's request, and declared that oracles 
were given through his agency, but these, it is com- 
monly asserted, were composed by Hadrian himself. 8 

Roman coins with the legend Adventui Aug(usti) Alexandria^ 
(Cohen, ii 2 , p. 108, Nos. 15-18). 

6 This beautiful youth was a native of Bithynium in Bithy- 
nia ; see Dio, Ixix. 11. He died near Besa, near the southern 
end of the Heptanomis. Here Hadrian founded a new city, 
called Antinoe or Antinoopolis,and consecrateda shrine to him. 

7 According to Dio, Ixix. 11, Hadrian claimed in his auto- 
biography (see note to c. i. 1) that Antinous was drowned in 
the Nile; he then adds the true cause of his death was 
his voluntary sacrifice of himself, apparently in consequence 
of some prophecy, in order to save the Emperor's life. 

8 Here the narrative of Hadrian's journey breaks off 
abruptly. After a visit to Thebes, where he and Sabina heard 
"the singing Memnon " (I.G.R., i. 1186 and 1187), he re- 
turned to Alexandria, and thence travelled, apparently by 
ship (Cat. of Coins in the Brit. Mus., Alex., p. 101, No. 871), 
to Syria and Asia Minor. During a stay at Athens he dedi- 
cated the Olympieion (cf. note to c. xiii. 6) in 131-132 ; see 
Dio, Ixix. 16, 1. He was then called to Judaea on account of 
the long duration of the Jewish revolt (see note to c. xiv. 2). 
He finally returned to Rome early in 134. 



8 Fuit enim poematum et litterarum nimium studio- 
sissimus. arithmeticae geometriae picturae peritis- 

9 simus. iam psallendi et cantandi scientiam prae se 
ferebat. in voluptatibus nimius ; iiam et de suis 
dilectis multa versibus composuit. amatoria carmina 

10 scripsit. 1 idem armorum peritissimus et rei militaris 

11 scientissimus, gladiatoria quoque arma tractavit. idem 
severus comis, gravis lascivus, cunctator festinans, 2 
tenax liberalis, simulator simplex, 3 saevus clemens, et 
semper in omnibus varius. 

XV. Amicos ditavit et quidem non petentes, cum 

2petentibus nihil negaret. idem tamen facile de 

amicis, quidquid insusurrabatur, audivit atque ideo 

prope cunctos vel amicissimos vel eos, quos summis 

honoribus evexit, postea ut hostium loco habuit, ut 

3 Attianum et Nepotem et Septicium Clarum. nam 
Eudaemonem prius conscium imperii ad egestatem 

4 perduxit, Polaenum et Marcellum ad mortem volun- 

5 tariam coegit, Heliodorum famosissimis litteris laces- 

6 sivit, Titianum ut conscium tyrannidis et argui passus 

7 est et proscribi, Ummidium Quadratum et Catilium 

1 Probably merely a gloss. 2 So Novak, deleting as a 

gloss for comis laetus, which follows seuerus in P, and adding 
festinans to offset cunctator ; Peter divides : seuerus laetus, 
comis grauis, lasciuus cunctator. 3 simplex, omitted in P, 

is supplied by Peter 2 , following Reimarus ad Dio LXIX, 5, 
p. 652 ; uerus Peter 1 , Novak. 

1 But see c. viii. 7, and ix. 4. 2 See c. iv. 2, and xxiii. 4. 

3 Probably C. Publicius Marcellus, governor of Syria about 

4 Apparently the philosopher mentioned in c. xvi. 10, and 



In poetry and in letters Hadrian was greatly 
interested. In arithmetic, geometry, and painting 
he was very expert. Of his knowledge of flute-play- 
ing and singing he even boasted openly^ He ran to 
excess in the gratification of his desires, and wrote 
much verse about the subjects of his passion. He 
composed love-poems too. He was also a connoisseur 
of arms, had a thorough knowledge of warfare, and 
knew how to use gladiatorial weapons. He was, in 
the same person, austere and genial, dignified and 
playful, dilatory and quick to act, niggardly and 
generous, deceitful and straightforward, cruel and 
merciful, and always in all things changeable. 

XV. His friends he enriched greatly, even though 
they did not ask it, while to those who did ask, he 
refused nothing. And yet he was always ready to 
listen to whispers about his friends, and in the end 
he treated almost all of them as enemies, even the 
closest and even those whom he had raised to the 
highest of honours, such as Attianus l and Nepos 2 
and Septicius Clarus. Eudaemon, for example, who 
had been his accomplice in obtaining the imperial 
power, he reduced to poverty ; Polaenus and Mar- 
cellus 3 he drove to suicide ; Heliodorus 4 he assailed 
in a most slanderous pamphlet ; Titiaiius 5 he allowed 
to be accused as an accomplice in an attempt to seize 
the empire and even to be outlawed ; Ummidius Qua- 
dratus, 6 Catilius Severus, and Turbo he persecuted 

probably to be identified with Avidiua Heliodorus, the father 
of Avidius Cassius; see Av. Cass., i. 1. 

5 Probably either T. Atilius Rufus Titianus, consul in 127, 
or Atilius Titianus, who was accused affectati imperil under 
Pius and condemned ; see Pius, vii. 3. 

6 Mentioned as a iuvenis egregiae indolisby Pliny the younger 
(Epist., vi. 11 ; vii. 24). He was consul with Hadrian in 118. 



SSevemm et Turbonem graviter insecutus est. Ser- 

vianum sororis virum nonaesimum iam annum 

9agentem, ne sibi superviveret, mor coe^it : libertos 

lOdenique et nonnullos milites insecutus est. et 

quamvis esset oratione et versu promptissinius et in 

omnibus artibus peritissimus, tamen professores 

omnium artium semper ut doctior risit contempsit 

llobtrivit. cum his ipsis professoribus et philosophis 

libris vel carminibus in vicem editis saepe certavit. 

12 et Favorinus quidem, cum verbum eius quondam ab 

Hadriano reprehensum esset, atque ille cessisset. 

arguentibus amicis, quod male cederet Hadriano de 

verbo quod idonei auctores usurpassent. risum 

ISiucundissimum movit. ait enim : "Non recte 

suadetis, familiares, qui non patimini me ilium 

doctiorem omnibus credere, qui habet triginta 

legiones ". 

XVI. Famne Celebris Hadrianus tam cupidus fuit 

ut libros vitae suae scriptos a se libertis suis litteratis 

dederit, iubens ut eos suis nominibus publicarent. 

nam et Phlegontis libri Hadriani esse dicuntur. 

2 Catachannas libros obscurissimos Antimachum imi- 

Stando scripsit. Floro poetae scribenti ad se : 

1 A well-known rhetorician, a native of Arelate (Aries) in 
GauL He was a friend of Plu'.ir:^ and of Aulus Gellius, 
whose . ; Atticae are full of allusions to him. 

S 0n the autobiography see note to c. i. 1. The ruse de- 
scribed in this passage was not successful, for the true auth : r- 
ship of the autobiography was known to the wi . r of the 
present biography (see c. i. 1 ; iii. 3 and 5 ; vii. 2), and also to 
Cassias Dio (htix. 11, 2). 

3 Antimachu3 of Colophon about 400 B.C.; the author of 



vigorously; and in order to prevent .S-rr. ianus, his 
brother-in-law, from surviving him, he compelled 
him to commit suicide, although the man was then in 
his ninetieth year. And he even took vengeance on 
treedmen and sometimes on soldiers. And although 
he was very deft at prose and at verse and very ac- 
complished in all the arts, yet he used to subject the 
teachers of these arts, as though more learned than 


they, to ridicule, scorn, and humiliation. With thie- 
very professors and philosophers he often debated by 
means of pamphlets or poems issued by both sides in 
turn. And once Favorinus, 1 when he had yielded to 
Hadrian's criticism of a word which he had used, raised 
a merrv laugh among his friends. For when thev re- 

preached him for having done wrong in yielding to 
Hadrian in the matter of a word used by reputable 
authors, he replied : You are urging a wrong cours e . 
my friends, when you do not suffer me to regard as the 
most learned of men the one who has thirtv legions ' 


XVI. So desirous of a wide-spread reputation was 
Hadrian that he even wrote his own biography : this 
he gave to his educated freedmen, with instructions 
to publish it under their own name 5.- For indeed, 
Phlegon's writings, it is s .:d. are Hadrian's in reality. 
He wrote Catachannae. a verv obscure work in imita- 


tion of Antimachus. 3 And when the poet Fioms 4 
wrote to him : 

an epic, the Thecals, and of an elegiac poem, on the death of 
his wife Lyde. In general, his 5:~le ~is : :_ = .iered obscure, 
and his poems were full of learned allusions. According to 
Dio, bcx. 4. Hadrian preferred him to Honer. Nothing is 
knovrn rftitie .':.:ichannae. 

' Fr::s.:> :"__e - s: inniu; r l:rus. s:~ f :: ':. :ir verse - 
t.r served in the Codex SaJmasianus, & collection of miscellan- 
eous poetical selections; see r.:e;r. Anihalogia Latin*-. . . 
951 i-i ----:.. 



Ego nolo Caesar esse, 
ambulare per Britannos, 
latitare per . . - 1 
Scythicas pati pruinas, 

4 rescripsit : 

Ego nolo Floras esse, 
ambulare per tabernas, 
latitare per popinas, 
culices pati rotundos. 

5 amavit praeterea genus vetustum dicendi. contro- 

6 versias declamavit. Ciceroni Catonem, Vergilio 
Ennium, Sallustio Caelium praetulit eademque iacta- 

7 tione de Homero ac Platone iudicavit. mathesin sic 
scire sibi visus est ut vero 2 kalendis lanuariis scrip- 
serit, quid ei toto anno posset evenire, ita ut eo anno 
quo periit usque ad iilam horam qua est mortuus 
scripserit quid acturus esset. 

8 Sed quamvis esset in reprehendendis musicis 
tragicis comicis grammaticis rhetoribus facilis, tamen 
omnes professores et honoravit et divites fecit, licet 

9eos quaestionibus semper agitaverit. et cum ipse 
auctor esset, ut multi ab eo tristes recederent, 
dicebat se graviter ferre, si quern tristem videret. 
10 in summa familiaritate Epictetum et Heliodorum 
philosophos et, ne nominatim de omnibus dicam, 
grammaticos rhetores musicos geometras pictores 
astrologos habuit, prae ceteris, ut multi adserunt, 

1 Omitted in P, but to be supplied from 4 (where Spengel 
would delete latitare per popinas, Abh. d. bayer. Akad. hist, 
phil. Kl. IX, p. 317). 2 uero Meursius ; sero P. 

1 L. Caelius Antipater, an historian living in the second 
century B.C., who wrote a histoiy of the Second Punic War. 

^According to AeL, iii. 9, this statement is made on the 
authority of Marius Maximus. 



" I don't want to be a Caesar, 
Stroll about among the Britons, 
Lurk about among the .... 
And endure the Scythian winters/' 
he wrote back 

" I don't want to be a Florus, 
Stroll about among the taverns, 
Lurk about among the cook-shops, 
And endure the round fat insects." 
Furthermore, he loved the archaic style of writing, 
and he used to take part in debates. He preferred 
Cato to Cicero, Ennius to Vergil, Caelius l to Sal- 
lust ; and with the same self-assurance he expressed 
opinions about Homer and Plato. In astrology he 
considered himself so proficient that on the Kalends 
of January he would actually write down all that 
might happen to him in the whole ensuing year, and 
in the year in which he died, indeed, he wrote down 
everything that he was going to do, down to the very 
hour of his death. 2 

However ready Hadrian might have been to 
criticize musicians, tragedians, comedians, gram- 
marians, and rhetoricians, he nevertheless bestowed 
both honours and riches upon all who professed these 
arts, though he always tormented them with his 
questions. And although he was himself responsible 
for the fact that many of them left his presence with 
their feelings hurt, to see anyone with hurt feelings, 
he used to say, he could hardly endure. He treated 
with the greatest friendship the philosophers Epic- 
tetus 3 and Heliodorus, and various grammarians, 
rhetoricians, musicians, geometricians not to men- 
tion all by name painters and astrologers ; and among 

3 The well-known Stoic philosopher. 



lleminente Favorino. doctores, qui profession! suae 
inhabiles videbantur, ditatos honoratosque a profes- 
sion e dimisit. 

XVII. Quos in privata vita inimicos habuit, imper- 
ator tantum neglexit, ita ut uni, quern capitalem ha- 

2 buerat, factus imperator diceret " Evasisti ". iis quos 
ad militiam ipse per se vocavit equos mulos vestes 

3 sumptus et omnem ornatum semper exhibuit. satur- 
nalicia et sigillaricia frequenter amicis inopinantibus 
misit et ipse ab his libenter accepit et alia invicem 

4dedit. ad deprehendendas obsonatorum fraudes, 
cum plurimis sigmatibus pasceret, fercula de aliis 

5mensis etiam ultimis sibi iussit adponi. 1 omnes 
reges muneribus suis vicit. publice frequenter et 

6 cum omnibus lavit. ex quo ille iocus balnearis in- 
notuit : nam cum quodam tempore veteranum 
quendam notum sibi in militia dorsum et ceteram 
partem corporis vidisset adterere parieti, 2 percontatus, 
cur se marmoribus destringendum daret, ubi audivit 
hoc idcirco fieri quod servum non haberet, et servis 

7 eum donavit et sumptibus. verum alia die cum plures 
senes ad provocandam liberalitatem principis parieti 
se adtererent, evocari eos iussit et alium ab alio 

8 invicem defricari. fuit et plebis iactantissimus 
amator. peregrination is ita cupidus ut omnia quae 
legerat de locis orbis terrarum praesens vellet addis- 

1 sibi iussit adponi Mommsen ; quibusque (quiq P*) adponi 
P 1 ; quibusque iussit adponi P corr. ; quibusque adponit Peter. 
2 parieti inserted here by Kellerbauer and accepted by Peter 2 ; 
omitted in P. 

1 The name Sigillaria was given to the last days of the 
Saturnalia, in which it was customary to send as gifts little 
figures (sigilla) of pottery or pastry. 



them Favorinus, many claim, was conspicuous above 
all the rest. Teachers who seemed unfit for their 
profession he presented with riches and honours and 
then dismissed from the practice of their profession. 
XVII. Many whom he had regarded as enemies 
when a private citizen, when emperor he merely ig- 
nored ; for example, on becoming emperor, he said to 
one man whom he had regarded as a mortal foe, " You 
have escaped ". When he himself called any to mili- 
tary service, he always supplied them with horses, 
mules, clothing, cost of maintenance, and indeed 
their whole equipment. At the Saturnalia and 
Sigillaria l he often surprised his friends with presents, 
and he gladly received gifts from them and again 
gave others in return. In order to detect dishonesty 
in his caterers, when he gave banquets with several 
tables he gave orders that platters from the other 
tables, even the lowest, should be set before himself. 
He surpassed all monarchs in his gifts. He often 
bathed in the public baths, even with the common 
crowd. And a jest of his made in the bath became 
famous. For on a certain occasion, seeing a veteran, 
whom he had known in the service, rubbing his back 
and the rest of his body against the wall, he asked 
him why he had the marble rub him, and when the 
man replied that it was because he did not own a 
slave, he presented him with some slaves and the cost 
of their maintenance. But another time, when he 
saw a number of old men rubbing themselves against 
the wall for the purpose of arousing the generosity 
of the Emperor, he ordered them to be called out 
and then to rub one another in turn. His love for 
the common people he loudly expressed. So fond 
was he of travel, that he wished to inform himself in 



9 cere, frigora et tempestates ita patienter tulit ut 

lOnumquam caput tegeret. 1 regibus multis plurimum 

detulit, a plerisque vero etiam pacem redemit, a 

llnonnullis contemptus est ; multis ingentia dedit 

munera, sed nulli maiora quam Hiberorum, cui et 

elephantum et quinquagenariam cohortem post 

12 magnifica dedit dona, cum a Pharasmane ipse quo- 

que ingentia dona 2 accepisset atque inter haec 

auratas quoque chlamydes, trecentos noxios cum 

auratis chlamydibus in arenam misit ad eius munera 


XVIII. Cum iudicaret, in consilio habuit non arnicos 

suos aut comites solum sed iuris consultos et prae- 

cipue luventium 3 Celsum, Salvium lulianum, Nera- 

tium Priscum aliosque, quos tamen senatus omnis 

2 probasset. constituit inter cetera, ut in nulla civitate 

domus aliqua 4 transfereiidae ad aliam urbem ullius 5 

Smateriae causa dirueretur. liberis proscriptorum 

J tegeret Exc. Cus. and P corr. ; texeretP 1 ; texerit Peter. 
2 ingentia munia dona P; munia deleted by Petrarch; 
munia dono Peter. 3 luuentium Gas;. ; iulium P. 4 ali- 
qua . . . dirueretur Petschenig ; alique . . . dirueretur P : ; 
diruerentur P corr. 5 ullius P corr. (so Peter, but conj. 

illius) ; ullis P 1 ; utilis Cornelissen ; uilis Mommsen. 

1 Especially in connection with his conference with the 
minor potentates of the Orient ; see c. xiii. 8. 

2 Pharasmanes ; see also c. xiii. 9 and note. 

3 See c. viii. 9 and note. 

4 His Digesta in thirty-nine books were used in the com- 
pilation of the Digest of Justinian. 

6 Famous as the compiler of the Edictum Perpetuum, a 
systematized collection of praetors' edicta, or statements of 



person about all that he had read concerning all 
parts of the world. Cold and bad weather he could 
bear with such endurance that he never covered his 
head. He showed a multitude of favours to many 
kings, 1 but from a number he even purchased peace, 
and by some he was treated with scorn ; to many he 
gave huge gifts, but none greater than to the king 
of the Hiberi, 2 for to him he gave an elephant and 
a band of fifty men, in addition to magnificent presents. 
And having himself received huge gifts from Pharas- 
manes, including some cloaks embroidered with gold, 
he sent into the arena three hundred condemned 
criminals dressed in gold-embroidered cloaks for the 
purpose of ridiculing the gifts of the king. 

XVIII. When he tried cases, he had in his council 3 
not only his friends and the members of his staff, but 
also jurists, in particular Juventius Celsus, 4 Salvius 
Julianus, 5 Neratius Priscus, 6 and others, only those, 
however, whom the senate had in every instance ap- 
proved. Among other decisions he ruled that in no 
community should any house be demolished for the 
purpose of transporting any building-materials to 
another city. 7 To the child of an outlawed person he 

the principles to be used in administering justice ; see Eutrop., 
viii. 17, and Codex lust., vi. 61, 5. His Digesta in ninety 
books are cited in Justinian's Digest. See also Sev., xvii. 5. 

fi See note to c. iv. 8. 

7 This prohibition is an application of the general principle 
laid down in a senatus consultum of 44 (Bruns 6 , No. 51), 
that no building in Italy shall be demolished with a view to 
making profit out of the demolition. The destruction of 
buildings for any purpose except their immediate reconstruc- 
tion, unless permission has been given by the curia, is pro- 
hibited in the various laws of the coloniae and municipia; 
see Lex Col. Genetivae, c. 75, Lex Mun. Malac., c. 62, and 
Lex Mun. Tarent., c. 4. 



4duodecimas bonorum concessit. maiestatis crimina 

5 non admisit. ignotorum hereditates repudiavit nee 

6notorum accepit, si filios haberent. de thesauris ita 

cavit ut, si l quis in suo repperisset, ipse potiretur, 

si quis in alieno, dimidium domino daret, si quis in 

ypublico, cum fisco aequabiliter partiretur. servos a 

dominis occidi vetuit eosque iussit damnari per 

Siudices, si digni essent. lenoni et lanistae servum 

9 vel ancillam vendi vetuit causa non praestita. de- 

coctores bonorum suorum, si suae auctoritatis essent, 

catomidiari in amphitheatre et dimitti iussit. ergastula 

10 servorum et liberorum tulit. lavacra pro sexibus 

11 separavit. si dominus in domo interemptus esset, 
non de omnibus servis quaestioiiem haberi sed de iis 
qui per vicinitatem poterant sentire praecepit. 

XIX. In Etruria praeturam imperator egit. per 

1 si lacking in P 1 , added by P corr. 

J It was a principle of Roman law that the property of those 
executed or exiled should be confiscated ; see Digest., xlviii. 
20, 1 pr. It had become customary, however, to allow to the 
children a certain proportion. In the first century this often 
amounted to a half (see Tac., Ann., iii. 17 ; xiii. 43) ; in the 
time of Theodosius I, the law established this amount, except 
only in cases of treason, in which the children were to receive 
one sixth ; see Cod. Theod., ix. 42, 8 and 24 = Cod. lust., ix. 
49, 8 and 10. The amount prescribed by Hadrian must be 
regarded as a minimum. 

2 Originally the principle seems to have been that the 
finder of treasure became the owner; so Hor., Sat., ii. 6, 10 f. 



granted a twelfth of the property. 1 Accusations for 
lese majesic he did not admit. Legacies from persons 
unknown to him he refused, and even those left to 
him by acquaintances he would not accept if they 
had any children. In regard to treasure-trove, he 
ruled that if anyone made a find on his own property 
he might keep it, if on another's land, he should turn 
over half to the proprietor thereof, if on the state's, 
he should share the find equally with the privy-purse. 2 
He forbade masters to kill their slaves, and ordered 
that any who deserved it should be sentenced by the 
courts. He forbade anyone to sell a slave or a maid- 
servant to a procurer or trainer of gladiators without 
giving a reason therefor. He ordered that those who 
had wasted their property, if legally responsible, should 
be flogged in the amphitheatre and then let go. Houses 
of hard labour for slaves and free he abolished. He 
provided separate baths for the sexes. He issued an 
order that, if a slave-owner were murdered in his house, 
no slaves should be examined save those who were 
near enough to have had knowledge of the murder. 3 
XIX. In Etruria he held a praetorship 4 while em- 
Hadrian's modification was adopted by Marcus and Verus 
(Just., Digest., xlix. 14, 3, 10), and by Severus Alexander 
(Alex., xlvi. ^), and was finally incorporated in Justinian's 
Institutes (ii. 1, 39). 

3 A senatus consultant Silanianum of A.D. 10 had ordained 
that on the murder of a slave-owner by a slave, all the slaves 
present in the house should be examined by torture ; see 
Just., Digest, xxix. 5. This was extended by a senatus con- 
sultum of 57 to include all freedmen present in the house ; 
see Tac., Ann., xiii. 32. For an instance of such a murder 
see Tac., Ann., xiv. 42-45. 

4 He held the honorary post of chief magistrate of various 
towns. Praetor was the original title of this magistrate (the 
Roman consuls also were originally called praetores), and 
many towns retained the old name. 



Latina oppida dictator et aedilis et duumvir fuit, apud 
Neapolim demarchus, in patria sua quiiiquennalis et 
item Hadriae quinquennalis, quasi in alia patria, et 
Athenis archon fuit. 

2 In omnibus paene urbibus et aliquid aedificavit et 
Sludos edidit. Athenis rnille ferarurn venationem in 
4stadio exhibuit. ab urbe Roma nurnquam ullum 

5 venatorern aut scaenicum avocavit. Romae post 
ceteras immensissimas voluptates in honorem socrus 
suae arornatica populo donavit, in honorem Traiani 
bulsarna et crocuin per gradus theatri fluere iussit. 

6 fabulas omnis generis more aritiquo in theatre dedit, 

7 hUtriones aulieos publicavit. in Circo multas feras 
Setsaepe centum leones int.erfeoit. rnilitares pyrrichas 

populo frequenter exhibuit. gladiatores frequenter 
9speetavit. curn opera ubique infinita fecisset, nurn- 

quarn ipse nisi in Traiani patris teniplo nornen suum 
10 seripsit. Rornae instauravit Pantheum, Saepta, Basil- 

1 The Duoviri inri dicundo were the chief magistrates of a 
colony, arjalogouB to the consuls at Homo, and gradually 
most of the municipalities adopted this form of government. 
It wan CUB ornary for the emperors to hold thin ma^i itracy as 
a compliment to the town. 

a Naples, which was a Greek city, retained the original 
title of its chief magistrate, S-fi^apxo^ ; see Straho, v. p. 51 fj 
an'l njJirjy ins'ifij/ .ions extending down to the fourth century. 

:: Jtalica in llispania liaetica; see c. i. 1. 

4 In 112, before- he be'-amc emperor; see the inscription 
from Athens, C'./.L., iii. .0-00 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., .'JOB. 
; c. ix. '.) and note. 

'Originally a war-dance, hut sometimes used in panto- 
rnimea (';f. Suet., Nero, xii. 2). 

7 Se<- QOte to c. vii. fj. 

'uirnnally f^uilt by Agrippa in 27 B.C. Tlie present build- 
in;; bears the inscription of A^rippa, A/. Ayriyipa L. f. consul 
tff Hium) fecit, but an examination of the bncks used in its 



peror. In the Latin towns he ^ as dictator and aedile 
and duumvir. 1 in Naples demareh.- in h;s native city 5 
duumvir with the powers of censor. This office he 
held at Hadria. too, his second native city, as it were. 
and at Athens he \\as archon. 4 

In almost every city he built some building and 
cave public games. At Athens he exhibited in the 
stadium a hunt of a thousand wild beasts, but he 
never called awav from Rome a single wild-beast- 


hunter or actor. In Rome, in addition to popular 
entertainments of unbounded extravagance, he ga\ e 
sp-.ces to the people in honour of his mother-in-law.-" 1 
and in honour of Trajan he c.uised essences of balsam 
and sartron to be poured over the seats of the theatre. 
And in the theatre he presented plays of all kinds in 
the ancient manner and had the court-players appear 
before the public. In the Circus he had many wild 
beasts killed and often a whole hundred of lions. 
He often ca\ e the people exhibitions of military 
Pyrrhic dances. 5 and he frequently attended gladia- 
torial shows. He built public buildings in a";l places 
and without number, but he inscribed his own name 
on none of them except the temple of his father 
Trajan." At Rome he restored the Pantheon/ the 
Voting-enclosure, 11 the of Neptune/--' \ev\ 

construction has H :ie fact that U ifl . TN 

of Hadrian. 

9 In the Campu? Martins. tadfoi 

voting. Thebuilc. kS ,1 ulius Caosar V - ftdbj 

Acr v.:. .v.\ .:- >.:;::. ^Pio, liii. 23). I:v..s< 

under Titus (DiOtlxvi - rebuilt under Itomil 

V-. :'.-. of .'.-.; - . A.; r^ain'JoB.e h> , cm- 

mer.. : : viotonos ow Sextus - ' m] 

Dio, liii. 21 ind bomad under Titus. The north wall ,' 
Hadrian's buildiv.c .-. . columns A ro e\:.-.-. :. and farm 

part of tho facade of the modern stock- exchange, 



icam Neptuni, sacras aedies plurimas, Forum August!, 
Lavacrum Agrippae ; eaque omnia propriis auctorum l 

llnominibus consecravit. fecit et sui nominis pontem 
et sepulchrum iuxta Tiberim et aedem Bonae Deae. 

12transtulit et Colossum stantem atque suspensum per 
Decrianum architectum de eo loco in quo nunc Tern- 
plum Urbis est, ingenti molimine, ita ut operi etiam 

13elephantos viginti quattuor exhiberet. et cum hoc 

simulacrum post Neronis vultum deletum, cui antea 

dicatum fuerat, Soli consecrasset, aliud tale Apolo- 

doro architecto auctore facere Lunae molitus est. 

XX. In conloquiis etiam humillimorum civilissimus 

fuit, detestans eos qui sibi hanc voluptatem humani- 
tatis quasi servantes 2 fastigium principis inviderent. 

2apud Alexandriam in Museo multas quaestiones pro- 
fessoribus proposuit et propositas ipse dissolvit. 

sMarius Maximus dicit eum natura crudelem fuisse 

1 auctorum Peter, from Suet. Dotnit. 5 ; ueterum P. 2 ser- 
uantes Roos, Mn. 41, p. 144 ; seruantis P. 

1 North-west of the Forum Romanum, and containing the 
temple of Mars Ultor. 

2 Immediately south of the Pantheon, built by Agrippa in 
25 B.C. (Dio, liii. 27). These baths were burned under Titus 
but rebuilt under Domitian (Martial, iii. 20 and 36). 

3 The Mausoleum Hadriani, on the right bank of the Tiber, 
now the Castel S. Angelo. The bridge named after him 
Pons Aelius led to it. The Mausoleum was finally completed 
by Antoninus Pius in 139 ; see Pius, viii. 2, and C.I.L., vi. 984 
= Dessau, Ins. Sel, 322. 

4 The Aedes Bonae Deae Subsaxanae was on the slope of 
the eastern peak of the Aventine Hill (the Remuria or 
Saxum) ; for its legend see Ovid, Fast., v. 155. 



many temples, the Forum of Augustus, 1 the Baths of 
Agrippa,' 2 and dedicated all of them in the names of 
their original builders. Also he constructed the 
bridge named after himself, a tomb on the bank of 
the Tiber, 3 and the temple of the Bona Dea. 4 With 
the aid of the architect Decrianus he raised the Co- 
lossus 5 and, keeping it in an upright position, moved 
it away from the place in which the Temple of Rome 6 
is now, though its weight was so vast that he had to 
furnish for the work as many as twenty-four elephants. 
This statue he then .consecrated to the Sun, after 
removing the features of Nero, to whom it had previ- 
ously been dedicated, and he also planned, with the 
assistance of the architect Apollodorus, to make a 
similar one for the Moon. 

XX. Most democratic in his conversations, even 
with the very humble, he denounced all who, in the 
belief that they were thereby maintaining the imperial 
dignity, begrudged him the pleasure of such friendli- 
ness. In the Museum at Alexandria 7 he propounded 
many questions to the teachers and answered himself 
what he had propounded. Marius Maximus says that 

6 A colossal statue of Nero which stood in the vestibule of 
Nero's Golden House; see Suet., Nero, xxxi. 1. According 
to Suetonius it was 120 feet high, according to Pliny (N.H., 
xxxiv. 45) 106J feet. The statue was moved by Hadrian to 
a place immediately north-west of the Colosseum, where a 
portion of its base is still preserved. 

6 The Temple of Venus and Rome, built by Hadrian in 135 
from a plan made by himself; see Dio, Ixix. 4. It stood on 
the Velia at the highest point of the Sacra Via on a part of 
the site of Nero's Golden House. The western portion is 
built into the church of S. Francesca Romana, the eastern 
portion is partly extant. 

7 An academy founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus in imita- 
tion of the schools of Plato and Aristotle at Athens. 



et idcirco multa pie fecisse quod timeret, ne sibi 
idem quod Domitiano accidit eveniret. 

4 Et cum titulos in operibus non amaret, multas 
civitates Hadrianopolis appellavit, ut ipsam Cartha- 

5 ginem et Athenarum partem. aquarum ductus etiam 

6 infinites hoc nomine nuncupavit. fisci advocatum 
primus instituit. 

7 Fuit memoriae ingentis, facultatis immensae ; nam 
ipse et orationes dictavit et ad omnia respondit. 

8 ioca eius plurima exstant ; nam fuit etiam dicaculus. 
unde illud quoque innotuit quod, cum cuidam canes- 
centi quiddam negasset, eidem iterum petenti sed 
infecto capite respondit : " lam hoc patri tuo negavi ". 

gnomina plurimis sine nomenclatore reddidit, quae 
semel et congesta simul audiverat, ut nomenclatores 

10 saepius errantes emendarit. dixit et veteranorum 
nomina, quos aliquando dimiserat. libros statim l 
lectos et ignotos quidem plurimis memoriter reddidit. 

11 uno tempore scripsit dictavit audivit et cum amicis 
fabulatus est, si potest credi. 2 omnes publicas 
rationes ita complexus est ut domum privatam quivis 

12 paterfamilias diligens non satis iiovit. 3 equos et canes 

1 So P ; strictim Peter 2 ; rairtim Novak. 2 si potest 

(potes P 1 ) credi removed by the edd., so Haupt, Opusc. III. 
p. 421, but Vahlen (ind. lect. Ber. bib. 1880/1, p. 13) would 
retain, joining to the following. 3 non satis nouit P, which 
Haupt would remove (loc. cit.) ; non setius norit Momrnsen, 
Peter 2 . 

1 Domitian was assassinated by some palace-attendants. 

2 This portion of the city lay east of the Acropolis, between 
the old wall of Themistocles and the Ilissus. A gate in the 
old wall was replaced by a new one, bearing on its two sides 
respectively the lines : 

At'S' eiV 'AOrivai 97j<rea>j rj irplv Tr6\is. 
A'iS' eur' 'A.Spiavov Ka\ ou^l 0rjtreajy 7r6\is- 

(I.G., iii. 401). 


he was naturally cruel and performed so many kind- 
nesses only because he feared that he might meet 
the fate which had befallen Domitian. 1 

Though he cared nothing for inscriptions on his 
public works, he gave the name of Hadrianopolis to 
many cities, as, for example, even to Carthage and a 
section of Athens ; 2 and he also gave his name to 
aqueducts without number. He was the first to ap- 
point a pleader for the privy-purse. 3 

Hadrian's memory was vast and his ability was un- 
limited ; for instance, he personally dictated his 
speeches and gave opinions on all questions. He 
was also very witty, and of his jests many still sur- 
vive. The following one has even become famous : 
When he had refused a request to a certain gray- 
haired man, and the man repeated the request but 
this time with dyed hair, Hadrian replied : " I have 
already refused this to your father". Even without 
the aid of a nomenclator he could call by name a 
great many people, whose names he had heard but 
once and then all in a crowd ; indeed, he could 
correct the nomenclators when they made mistakes, 
as they not infrequently did, and he even knew the 
names of the veterans whom he had discharged at 
various times. He could repeat from memory, after 
a rapid reading, books which to most men were not 
known at all. He wrote, dictated, listened, and, 
incredible as it seems, conversed with his friends, all 
at one and the same time. He had as complete a 
knowledge of the state-budget in all its details as 

3 The advocatus fisci represented the interests of the privy- 
purse in law-suits in which it became involved. The office 
was held by knights and constituted the first step in the 
equestrian cursus honor urn. 



13 sic amavit ut iis sepulchra constitueret. oppidum 

Hadrianotheras in quodam loco, quod illic et feliciter 

esset venatus et ursam occidisset aliquando, constituit. 

XXI. De iudicibus omnibus semper cuncta scru- 

tando tamdiu requisivit quamdiu verum inveniret. 

2 libertos suos nee sciri voluit in publico nee aliquid 
apud se posse, dicto suo omnibus superioribus priii- 
cipibus vitia imputans libertorum, damnatis omnibus 

3 libertis suis, quicumque se de eo iactaverant. unde 
exstat etiam illud severum l quidem sed prope ioculare 
de servis. nam cum quodam tempore servum suum 
inter duos senatores e conspectu ambulare vidisset, 
misit qui ei colaphum daret diceretque 2 : " Noli inter 

4eos ambulare quorum esse adhuc potes servus ". in- 
ter cibos unice amavit tetrapharmacum, quod erat de 
phasiano sumine perna et crustulo. 

5 Fuerunt eius temporibus fames pestilentia terrae 
motus, quae omnia, quantum potuit, procuravit mul- 

6 tisque civitatibus vastatis per ista subvenit. fuit etiam 

7 Tiberis inundatio. Latium multis civitatibus dedit, 
tributa multis remisit. 

1 seuerum Petschenig ; seuero P ; seuere P corr. ; seue B 2 , 
whence Peter saeue. 2 so Mommsen ; colafum daret et 

diceret P corr. (from P 1 colla fundar et qui) ; qui et collafum 
daret ; cui " Noli," etc. Bitschofsky. 

1 Especially for his favourite huntiDg-horse Borysthenes, 
which died at Apte in Gallia Narbonensis ; in its honour he 
erected a tomb with a stele and an inscription ; see Dio, Ixix. 
10. The inscription is preserved, C.I.L., xii. 1122 = Biicheler, 
Carm. Epigr., ii. 1522. 

2 In Bithynia. 

3 Also called pentapharmacum ; see AeL, v. 4 f. It was also 
a favourite dish of Severus Alexander's; see Alex., xxx. 6. 



any careful householder has of his own household. 
His horses and dogs he loved so much that he pro- 
vided burial-places for them/ and in one locality he 
founded a town called Hadrianotherae, 2 because once 
he had hunted successfully there and killed a bear. 

XXI. He always inquired into the actions of all his 
judges, and persisted in his inquiries until he satisfied 
himself of the truth about them. He would not allow 
his freedmen to be prorninenc in public affairs or to 
have any influence over himself, and he declared that 
all his predecessors were to blame for the faults of 
their freedrnen ; he also punished all his freedmen 
who boasted of their influence over him. With regard 
to his treatment of his slaves, the following incident, 
stern but almost humorous, is still related. Once 
when he saw one of his slaves walk away from his 
presence between two senators, he sent someone to 
give him a box on the ear and say to him : " Do not 
walk between those whose slave you may some day 
be". As an article of food he was singularly fond 
of tetrapharmacum, 3 which consisted of pheasant, 
sow's udders, ham, and pastry. 

During his reign there were famines, pestilence, 
and earthquakes. The distress caused by all these 
calamities he relieved to the best of his ability, and 
also he aided many communities which had been 
devastated by them. There was also an overflow 
of the Tiber. To many communities he gave Latin 
citizenship, 4 and to many others he remitted their 

4 The ius Lalii was a peculiar status, granted originally 
to certain of the cities of Latium. It conferred on their 
inhabitants certain private rights of a Eoman citizen, especi- 
ally those of holding property and trading at Rome and of 
intermarriage with Romans. In the time of the Empire the 



8 Expeditiones sub eo graves nullae fuerunt ; bella 

9 etiam silentio paene transacta. a railitibus propter 
curam exercitus nimiam 1 multum amatus est, simul 

10 quod in eos liberalissimus fuit. Parthos in amicitia 
semper habuit, quod inde regem retraxit, quern 

11 Traianus imposuerat. Armeniis regem habere per- 

12 misit, cum sub Traiano legatum habuissent. a Meso- 
potamiis 2 non exegit tributum, quod Traianus im- 

13 posuit. Albanos et Hiberos amicissimos habuit, quod 
reges eorurn largitionibus prosecutus est, cum ad 

14 ilium venire contempsissent. reges Bactrianorum 
legates ad eum amicitiae petendae causa supplices 

XXII. Tutores saepissime dedit. disciplinam civi- 

2lem non aliter tenuit quam militarem. senatores et 

equites Romanes semper in publico togatos esse iussit, 

3 nisi si a cena reverterentur. ipse, cum in Italia esset, 

4 semper togatus processit. ad convivium venientes 
senatores stans excepit semperque aut pallio tectus 

5 discubuit aut toga, summa diligentia in dies 3 sumptus 
convivii constituit et ad antiquum modum redegit. 

gvehicula cum ingentibus sarcinis urbem ingredi pro- 

7 hibuit. sederi equos in civitatibus non sivit. ante 

octavam horam in publico neminem nisi aegrum lavari 

1 nimiam P corr., Novak ; nimiae P 1 ; nimie Peter 2 . 2 a 
Mesopotamiis Novak after P corr. omitting a ; Mesopotamenos 
P 1 , Peter. 3 toga, summa diligentia in dies Mommsen ; 

toga summissa diligentia indices P ; iudicis Peter. 

possession of this status meant chiefly local autonomy and 
the bestowal of Roman citizenship on local magistrates. 
1 Except the war in Judaea ; see c. xiv. 2 and note. 



There were no campaigns of importance during his 
reign, 1 and the wars that lie did wage were brought 
to a close almost without arousing comment. The 
soldiers loved him much on account of his very great 
interest in the army 2 and for his great liberality to 
them besides. The Parthians always regarded him 
as a friend because he took away the king 3 whom 
Trajan had set over them. The Armenians were 
permitted to have their own king, 4 whereas under 
Trajan they had had a governor, and the Mesopotam- 
ians were relieved of the tribute which Trajan had 
imposed. The Albanians 5 and Hiberians he made his 
friends by lavishing gifts upon their kings, even 
though they had scorned to come to him. The kings 
of the Bactrians sent envoys to him to beg humbly 
for his friendship. 

XXII. He very often assigned guardians. Disci- 
pline in civil life he maintained as rigorously as he did 
in military. He ordered senators and knights to wear 
the toga whenever they appeared in public except 
when they were returning from a banquet, and he 
himself, when in Italy, always appeared thus clad. 
At banquets, when senators came, he received them 
standing, and he always reclined at table dressed 
either in a Greek cloak or in a toga. The cost of a 
banquet he determined on each occasion, all with 
the utmost care, and he reduced the sums that 
might be expended to the amounts prescribed by 

2 See c. x. 

3 i.e. Parthamaspates ; see c. v. 4 and note. 

4 i.e. he relinquished their country together with the other 
conquests of Trajan east of the Euphrates; see c. v. 1 and 3 
and notes. 

6 The eastern part of Trans-Caucasia, east of the Hiberi 
(for whom see c. xvii. 11). 



8p.'issiis est. ab epistulis et a libellis primus equites 

9 Romanos habuit. eos quos paupnvs et innocentes 

vidit sponte ditavit, quos vero callidit.ate ditatos, 

lOetiam odio habuit. sacra Romana diligentissime 

curavit, pere^rina conternpsit. pontificis maximi 

11 oflirium p.-.rc^it. causas Romae atque in provi'iciis 

frequenter audivit, adliibitis in eonsilio suo consiilibus 

l^atque practonbus et opt.iniis srnat.oribus. Fucinurn 

].'{ laciun cinisit.. (juattuor COnsulares per omnem Italiani 

lliudicj-s <-<)iisl,ituit. (juando in Africani venit, ad ad- 

venliiin cius post, quinquennium pluit, atque ideo ab 

African is est. 

XXIII. IVra^ratis sane omnibus orbis partibus 

capil.e nudo et in sunuiiis plerumque imbrilnis atque 

2 frifforibus in tnorbum ineidit. Lectualem. factusque de 

succcssorc priinuin de Scrviano cogitavit, 

1 I'. iMnnin; 1 ; t,ln! //</ Orchid of 181 B.C. tin- Roman 
rcpulilic. t,iird by a surer'; ion of sumptuary laws to rn.i.iirt 

the conBtantly increasing cost of i';iin|iirt,s. Tbr Lei- i<\\nna 

of Itil I-..C. fixed ii maximum of 100;.s f^r tbe \\vi\\\\. b< Inlays, 
of 10 for Ordinary day B ) l,be lii.l.lri- sum was laf.rr in- 
cre!i.s('d l,o :i() f/.s.sf.s'. Tbe I ,< i Conii'l'm of Sulla allowed tbree 
i'd :;> ,lnce ; fur bolida.ys and tbirt.y for ol.brr days ; Uns 

was increased by a law of Au",u 1,0 IAVO hundred 

SOSt ei-ee:; ; :;rr ( IcHlllS, 11. iM Illld Ma ToblUS, S<lt., I'll. 17. Wblch 

Bum is Hi' anl, beer is unfortunately imt. elrar. 

M)ii' of |,br. most important of Hadrian's reforms. The 
great, OOUrt offices bad previously been held rbiellv by freod- 
niou of l.lio eni|M'ior as pnval.e posta iu Ills household. 
Hadrian, in providing that they ahould bo hold by 



the ancient laws. 1 He forbade the entry into Rome 
of heavily laden wagons, and did not permit 
riding on horseback in cities. None but invalids 
were allowed to bathe in the public baths before 
the eighth hour of the day. 1 L> was the first to 
put knights in charge of the imperial correspond- 
ence and of the petition^ addressed to the- emperor.- 
Those men whom he saw to be poor and innocent he 
enriched of his own accord, but those who had become 
rich through sharp practice he actually regarded 
with hatred. He despised foreign cults, but native 
Roman ones he observed most scrupulously ; more- 
over, he always performed the duties of pontifex 
maximus. lie tried a great number of lawsuits him- 
self both in Rome and in the provinces, ami to his 
council ;? lie called consuls ami praetors and the fore- 
most of the senators. He drained the Fueine Lake. 4 
He appointed four men of consular rank as judges 
for all Italy. When he went to Africa ' it rained on 
his arrival for the first time in the space of' five years, 
ami for this he was beloved by the Africans. 

\\lll. After traversing, as he did. all parts of the 
world with bare head ami often in severe storms and 

transformed them into official government positions. More- 
over, tins opening to the equestrian order of a eareer of great 
intlueiuv and distinction led to the resalt that by the end of 
the third century most of the important administrative po^ts 
were held by knights. 

;: Set 1 c. viii. i> and note. 

4 Now Lugo di tYlano. It is in the centre of Italy, due 
east of Home. An a', tempt to drain it by means of a tunnel 
was made by Claudius ^see Tae.. A >;>;., \i. ;V> an 1 o7). but not 
very sue essfnlly. Another at.enr.t. made by Trajan, is re- 
corded in an inscription (C.I.L., ix. 3015). 

6 See c. xiii. 4. 



3 quern postea, ut diximus, mori coegit, item 1 Fuscum, 
quod imperium praesagiis et ostentis agitatus speraret. 

4 in sumtna detestatione habuit Platorium Nepotem, 
quern tantopere ante dilexit ut veniens ad eum aegro- 
tantem Hadrianus impune non admitteretur, suspic- 

5 ioiiibus adductus, et eodem modo et Terentium 
Gentianum, et hunc vehementius, quodasenatu diligi 

6 tune videbat. omnes postremo, de quorum imperio 
cogitavit, quasi futures imperatores detestatus est. 

7et omnem quidem vim crudelitatis ingenitae usque eo 
repressit donee in Villa Tiburtina profluvio sanguinis 

8 paene ad exitum venit. tune libere Servianum quasi 
adfectatorem imperil, quod servis regiis cenam misis- 
set, quod in sedili regio iuxta lectum posito sedisset, 
quod erectusad stationes militum senex nonagenarius 
processisset, mori coegit, multis aliis interfectis vel 

9aperte vel per insidias ; quando quidem etiam Sabina 
uxor non sine fabula veneni dati ab Hadriano de- 
functa est. 

10 Tune Ceionium Commodum, Nigrini generum 
insidiatoris quondam, sibi forma commendatum adop- 

11 tare constituit. adoptavit ergo Ceionium Commodum 

1 item om. in P, inserted by Peter. 

1 See c. xv. 8. 

2 Pedanius Fuscus, the grandson of Servianus, was killed 
at the age of eighteen ; see Dio, Ixix. 17. 

3 See c. iv. 2 and note. 

4 D. Terentius Gentianus held an important command in 
Trajan's wars in Dacia and became a patron of the colony of 
Sarmizegetusa, the capital of the province ; see C.I.L., iii. 1463. 

6 See c. xxvi. 5. 

R i.e. the guard that was regularly on duty at the Palace; 
see Suetonius, Tib., xxiv. 1 ; Nero, xxi. 1. 



frosts, he contracted an illness which confined him to 
his bed. And becoming anxious about a successor 
he thought first of Servianus. Afterwards, however, 
as I have said, 1 he forced him to commit suicide ; 
and Fuscus, 2 too, he put to death on the ground that, 
being spurred 011 by prophecies and omens, he was 
hoping for the imperial power. Carried away by 
suspicion, he held in the greatest abhorrence Platorius 
Nepos, 3 whom he had formerly so loved that, once, 
when he went to see him while ill and was refused ad- 
mission, he nevertheless let him go unpunished. Also 
he hated Terentius Gentianus, 4 but even more vehe- 
mently, because he saw that he was then beloved by 
the senate. At last, he came to hate all those of 
whom he had thought in connection with the imperial 
power, as though they were really about to be em- 
perors. However, he controlled all the force of his 
innate cruelty down to the time when in his Tiburtine 
Villa 5 he almost met his> death through a hemorrhage. 
Then he threw aside all restraint and compelled 
Servianus to kill himself, on the ground that he aspired 
to the empire, merely because he gave a feast to the 
royal slaves, sat in a royal chair placed close to his 
bed, and, though an old man of ninety, used to arise 
and go forward to meet the guard of soldiers. 6 He 
put many others to death, either openly or by 
treachery, and indeed, when his wife Sabina died, 
the rumour arose that the Emperor had given her 

Hadrian then determined to adopt Ceionius Com- 136. 
modus, son-in-law of Nigrinus, the former conspirator, 
and this in spite of the fact that his sole recommen- 
dation was his beauty. Accordingly, despite the 
opposition of all, he adopted Ceionius Comrnodus 



Verum invitis omnibus eumque Helium Verum Cae- 

12 sarem appellavit. ob cuius adoptationem l ludos 
circenses dedit et donativum populo ac militibus 

13 expendit. quern praetura honoravit ac statim Pan- 
noniis imposuit decreto consulatu cum sumptibus. 2 
eundem Commodum secundo consulem designavit. 

14 quern cum minus sanum videret, saepissime dictitavit : 
" In caducum parietem nos inclinavimus et perdidi- 
mus quater milies sestertium, quod populo et militi- 

15 bus pro adoptione Commodi dedimus ". Commodus 
autem prae valetudine nee gratias quidem in senatu 

16agere potuit Hadriano de adoptione. denique ac- 
cepto largius antidote ingravescente valetudine per 
somnum periit ipsis kalendis lanuariis. quare ab 
Hadriano votorum causa lugeri est vetitus. 

XXIV. Et 3 mortuo Helio Vero Caesare Hadrianus 
ingruente tristissima valetudine adoptavit Arrium 
Antoninum, qui postea Pius dictus est, et ea quidem 4 

1 adoptationem P, Petschenig ; adoi tionem Peter. 2 con- 
sulatus consumptibus P s et. P; sed Gas., Peter. 4 et 

ea quidem Jordan ; et eadem P. 

1 More correctly, L. Ceionius Commodus; he was adopted 
under the name L. Aelius Caesar. The cognomen Verus, 
given to him here and in his biography (Ael., ii. 1 and 6), is 
not attested by inscriptions or coins, and seems to have arisen 
through a confusion with his son, adopted by Antoninus Pius, 
and, after his accession to the throne, called L. Auielius 
Verus. The form Helius which is used throughout the Historic, 



Verus a and called him Ae.ius Verus Caesar. On the 
occasion of the adopt on he gave games in the Circus 
and bestowed largess upon the populace and the 
soldiers.' 2 He dignified Commodus with the office of 
praetor 3 and immediately placed him in command of 
the Pannonian provinces, and also conferred on him 
the consulship together with money enough to meet 
the expenses of the office. He also appointed Com- 
modus to a second consulship. And when he saw 
that the man was diseased, he used often to say : 
" We have leaned against a tottering wall and have 
wasted the four hundred million sesterces which we 
gave to the populace and the soldiers on the adoption 
of Commodus 4 ". Moreover, because of his ill-health, 
Commodus could not even make a speech in the senate 
thanking Hadrian for his adoption. Finally, too large 
a quantity of medicine was administered to him, and 
thereupon his illness increased, and he died in his sleep 
on the very Kalends of January. 5 Because of the date 1 Jan., 1! 
Hadrian forbade public mourning for him, in order 
that the vows tor the state might be assumed as usual. 
XXIV. After the death of Aelius Verus Caesar, 
Hadrian was attacked by a very severe illness, and 25 Feb., 
thereupon he adopted Arrius Antoninus 6 (who was 

Augusta has no warrant whatsoever ; its substitution for 
Aeaus is probably due to some editor. 

2 Of. Ael., iii. 3; vi. 1. 

3 This statement, as found here and in Ael., iii. 2, is incorrect, 
for he was praetor in 130 and consul in 136, the year in which 
he was adopted. He was consul for the second time in 137 
and was then placed in command of the two provinces of 

4 Of. Ael., vi. 3. 5 Cf. Ael,i\. 7. 

6 More correctly, T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius 
Antoninus ; see Pius, i. 1. After his adoption his name was 
T. Aelius Caesar Antoninus. 



lege ut ille sibi duos adoptaret, Annium Verum et Mar- 
2 cum Antoninum. hi suntqui postea duo pariter August! 
Sprimi rem publicam gubernaverunt. et Antoninus 

quidera Pius idcirco appellatus dicitur quod socerum 

4 fessum aetate manu sublevaret, quamvis alii cogno- 
mentum hoc ei dicant inditum, quod multos senatores 

5 Hadriano iam saevienti abripuisset, alii, quod ipsi 
Hadriano magnos honores post mortem detulisset. 

6 Antonini adoptionem plurimi tune factam esse dolue- 
runt, speciatim Catilius Severus, praefectus urbi, qui 

7 sibi praeparabat imperium. qua re prodita successore 
accepto dignitate privatus est. 

8 Hadrianus autem ultimo vitae taedio iam adfectus 

9 gladio se transfigi a servo iussit. quod cum esset 
proditum et in Antonini usque notitiam venisset, 
ingressis ad se praefectis et filio rogantibusque ut 
aequo animo necessitatem morbi ferret, dicente Anto- 
nino parricidam se futurum si Hadrianum adoptatus 

10 ipse pateretur occidi, 1 iratus illis auctorem proditionis 
iussit occidi, qui tamen ab Antonino servatus est. 

11 statimque testamentum scripsit nee tamen actus rei 

1 dicente . . . occidi follows in P statimque . . . pra^ter- 
misit; transposed to follow ut . . . ferretby Gemoll, so Peter 2 . 

1 The names of the two adopted sons of Antoninus Pius are 
entirely conlused. The biographer is referring here to L. 
Ceionius Commodus, the son of L. Aelius Caesar, called, after 
his adoption by Antoninus, L. Aelius Aurelius Commodus. 
On his succession to the throne, he took the cognomen of his 
adoptive brother Annius Verus (M. Aurelius Antoninus) and 
reigned as L. Aurelius Verua. 

2 His name before adoption was M. Annius Verus ; after 
adoption he seems to have been called M. Aelius Aurelius 
Verus. On the death of Antoninus Pius he called himself 
M. Aurelius Antoninus. 

3 So also Pius, ii. 3. 4 See c. xxv. 8 and Pius, ii. 4. 



afterwards called Pius), imposing on him the condition 
that he adopt two sons, Annius Verus l and Marcus 
Antoninus. 2 These were the two who afterwards 
ruled the empire together, the first joint Augusti. 
And as for Antoninus, he was called Pius, it is said, 
because he used to give his arm to his father-in-law 
when weakened by old age. 3 However, others assert 
that this surname was given to him because, as 
Hadr:an grew more cruel, he rescued many senators 
from the Emperor 4 ; others, again, that it was because 
he bestowed great honours upon Hadrian after his 
death. 5 The adoption of Antoninus was lamented by 
many at that time, particularly by Catilius Severus, 6 
the prefect of the city, who was making plans to secure 
the throne for himself. When this fact became known, 
a successor was appointed for him and he was deprived 
of his office. 

But Hadrian was now seized with the utmost dis- 
gust of life and ordered a servant to stab him with a 
sword. When this was disclosed and reached the 
ears of Antoninus, he came to the Emperor, together 
with the prefects, and begged him to endure with 
fortitude the hard necessity of illness, declaring 
furthermore that he himself would be no better than 
a parricide, were he, an adopted son, to permit 
Hadrian to be killed. The Emperor then became 
angry and ordered the betrayer of the secret to be 
put to death ; however, the man was saved by 
Antoninus. Then Hadrian immediately drew up his 
will, though he did not lay aside the administration 
of the empire. Once more, however, after making 

5 See c. xxvii. 4 and Pius, ii. 5. 

6 He had been the colleague of Antoninus in the consulship 
in 120 ; see Pius, ii. 9. 



12 publicae praetermisit. et post testameiitum quidem 
iterum se conatus x occidere subtraeto pu^ione saevior 

13 factus est. petiit et venenum a medico, qui se ipse, 
ne daret, occidit. 

XXV. Ea tempestate supervenit quaedam mulier, 
quae diceret somnio se monitam ut insinuaret Hadri- 
an o, ne se occideret. quod esset bene valiturus ; quod 
cum non fecisset, esse caecatam. iussam tamen iterum 
Hadriano eadem dicere atque genua eius osculare, 

2 oculos- recepturam si id feoisset. quod cum insom- 
iiium 3 implesset, oculos recepit, cum aqua, quae in 

3 fano erat, ex quo venerat, oculos abluisset. venit et 
de Pan noil ia quidam vetus caecus ad febrientem 

4 Hadrianum eumque contigit. quo facto et ipse 
oculos recepit et Hadrianum febris reliquit, quam- 
vis Marius Maximus haec per simulationem facta 

5 Post haec Hadrianus Baias petiit Antonino Romae 

6 ad imperandum relicto. ubi cum iiihil proficeret, 
arcessito Antonino in conspectu eius apud ipsas Baias 

7periit die VI id mini luliarum. invisusque omnibus 
sepultus est in villa Ciceroniana Puteolis. 

8 Sub ipso mortis tempore et Servianum nonaginta 
annos agentem, ut 4 supra dictum est, ne sibi super- 
viveret 5 atque, ut putabat, imperaret, mori coegit et 
ob leves offensas plurimos iussit occidi, quos Anton- 

l cst con. P. 2 oc/osom. in P, supplied by Gleye; uisum 

(added after recept-ura)).), P corr., so Peter, 'but see Novak 

I, p. 3. s inso)nnij(m Cas. ; in sownio P; somnium^ovuk. 

B corr., oru. in P ; supra iLctum est deleted by Peter. 

*superviverei Petrarch; suprauiueret P, Peter. 

1 See c. xv. 8 and xxiii. 2 and 8. 



his will, he attempted to kill himself, but the dagger 
was taken from him. He then became more violent, 
and he even demanded poison from his physician, 
who thereupon killed himself in order that he might 
not have to administer it. 

XXV. About this time there came a certain woman, 
who said that she had been warned in a dream to 
coax Hadrian to refrain from killing himself, for he 
was destined to recover entirely, but that she had 
failed to do this and had become blind ; she had never- 
theless been ordered a second time to give the same 
message to Hadrian and to kiss his knees, and was 
assured of the recovery of her sight if she did so. 
The woman then carried out the command of the 
dream, and received her sight after she had bathed 
her eyes with the water in the temple from which 
she had come. Also a blind old man from Pannonia 
came to Hadrian when he was ill with fever, and 
touched him ; whereupon the man received his sight, 
and the fever left Hadrian. All these things, how- 
ever, Marius Maximus declares were done as a hoax. 

After this Hadrian departed for Baiae, leaving 
Antoninus at Rome to carry on the government. 
But he received no benefit there, and he thereupon 
sent for Antoninus, and in his presence he died there 
at Baiae on the sixth day before the Ides of July. 10 July, 
Hated by all, he was buried at Puteoli on an estate 
that had belonged to Cicero. 

Just before his death, he compelled Servianus, then 
ninety years old, to kill himself, as has been said 
before, 1 in order that Servianus might not outlive 
him, and, as he thought, become emperor. He like- 
wise gave orders that very many others who were 
guilty of slight offences should be put to death ; these, 



Qinus reservavit. et moriens quidem hos versus 
fecisse dicitur : 

Animula vagula blandula 
hospes comesque corporis, 
quae nunc abibis in loca 
pallidula rigida nudula ? 
nee ut soles dabis iocos ! 

10 tales autem nee multos l meliores fecit et Graecos. 

11 Vixit annis LXII, 2 mensibus V, diebus XVII. im- 
peravit annis XX/ raensibus XI. 

XXVI. Statura fuit procerus, forma comptus, flexo 

ad pectinem capillo, promissa barba, ut vulnera, quae 

in facie naturalia erant, tegeret, habitudine robusta. 

2equitavit ambulavitque plurimum armisque et pilo se 

3 semper exercuit. venatus frequentissime leonem 
manu sua occidit. venando autem iugulum et costam 
fregit. venationem semper cum amicis participavit. 

4 in convivio tragoedias comoedias Atellanas sambucas 

5 lectores poetas pro re semper exbibuit. Tiburtinam 
Villam mire exaedificavit, ita ut in ea et provinciarum 
et locorurn celeberrima nomina inscriberet, velut 
Lyceum, Academian, Prytaneum, Canopum, Poicilen, 
Tempe vocaret. et, ut nihil praetermitteret, etiam 
inferos finxit. 

6 Signa mortis haec habuit : natali suo ultimo, cum 

1 multos P ; multo Peter. - LXII Salm. ; LXXII P. 

3 XX Cas. ; XXI P. 

translated by A. O'Brien-Moore. 

2 The name was derived from Atella, a Campanian town, 
where, it was supposed, farces of this type originated. 

3 This palace was built by Hadrian during the last years of 
his reign ; it was a characteristic expression of both his 



however, were spared by Antoninus. And he is said, 
as he lay dying, to have composed the following lines : 

" O blithe little soul, thou, flitting away, 
Guest and comrade of this my clay, 
Whither now goest thou, to what place 
Bare and ghastly and without grace ? 
Nor, as thy wont was, joke and play." l 

Such verses as these did he compose, and not many 
that were better, and also some in Greek. 

He lived 62 years, 5 months, 17 days. He ruled 
20 years, 1 1 months. 

XXVI. He was tall of stature and elegant in ap- 
pearance ; his hair was curled on a comb, and he wore 
a full beard to cover up the natural blemishes on 
his face ; and he was very strongly built. He rode 
and walked a great deal and always kept himself ill 
training by the use of arms and the javelin. He also 
hunted, and he used often to kill a lion with his own 
hand, but once in a hunt he broke his collar-bone and 
a rib ; these hunts of his he always shared with his 
friends. At his banquets he always furnished, ac- 
cording to the occasion, tragedies, comedies, Atellan 
farces, 2 players on the sambuca, readers, or poets. 
His villa at Tibur 3 was marvellously constructed, and 
he actually gave to parts of it the names of provinces 
and places of the greatest renown, calling them, for 
instance, Lyceum, Academia, Prytaiieum, Canopus, 
Poecile and Tempe. And in order not to omit any- 
thing, he even made a Hades. 

The premonitions of his death were as follows : On 

eccentricity and his magnificence. Its extensive remains, 
covering, together with its gardens, about 160 acres, are still 
to be seen on the edge of the plain about three miles south- 
east of Tibur (Tivoli). 



Antoninum commendaret, praetexta sprnte delapsa 

7 caput ei aperuit. anulus. in quo imago ips us scuipta 

8 erat, sponte de digito delapsus est. ante diem naialis 
eius iiescio qui ad senatum ululans venit, contra 
quern Hadrianus ita motus est quasi de sua morte 

9 loqueretur, cum eius verba nullus agnosceret. idem 
cum vellet in senatu dicere " post filii mei mortem," 

10" post meam " dixit. somiiiavit praeterea se a patre 
potionem soporiferam impetrasse. item somniavit a 
leone se oppressum esse. 

XXVII. In mortuum eum a multis multa suiit 

2 dicta, acta eius inrita fieri senatus volebat. nee 
appellatus esset 1 divus, nisi Antoninus rogasset. 

3 templum denique ei pro sepulchro apud Puteolos 
constituit et quinquennale certamen et flamines et 
sodales et multa alia, quae ad honorem quasi numinis 

4 pertinerent. qua re, ut supra dictum est, multi 
putant Antoninum Pium dictum. 

1 est P. 

1 He was praying, according to the regular Roman custom, 
with a part of his toga drawn over his head. 

? For the significance of this omen see note to c. iii. 7. 

3 The Sodales were a board of priests to whom was com- 
mitted the cult of a deified emperor. Under the empire there 
were, in all, four such boards : the Sodales Angus tales, created 
for the cult of Augustus, and alter the deification of Claudius 



his last birthday, when he was commending Antoninus 
to the gods, his bordered toga fell down without 
apparent cause and bared his head. 1 His ring, on 
which his portrait was carved, slipped of its own 
accord from his finger. 2 On the day before his 
birthday some one came into the senate wailing ; by 
his presence Hadrian was as disturbed as it he were 
speaking about his own death, for no one could under- 
stand what he was saying. Again, in the senate, 
when he meant to say, "after my son's death," he 
said, "after mine". Besides, he dreamed that he 
had asked his father for a soporific ; he also dreamed 
that he had been overcome by a lion. 

XXVII. Much was said against him after his death, 
and by many persons. The senate wished to annul 
his acts, and would have refrained from naming him 
"the Deified' had not Antoninus requested it. 
Antoninus, moreover, finally built a temple tor him 
at Puteoli to take the place ot a tomb, and he also 
established a qu.nquennial contest and flamens and 
sudales 3 and many other institutions which appertain 
to the honour ot one regarded as a god. It is tor this 
reason, as has been said before, that many think that 
Antoninus received the surname Pius. 4 

extended to Sodales Augusiales C laud i ales ; the Sodales 
Flaviales for Vespasian, after the deification of Titus extended 
to Sodales Flaviales Titiales ; the Sodales Had* tanales ; and 
the Sodales Antomniani created in 161. The theory was that 
one sodalitas should care for the cults of the emperors of the 
same house. 

4 See c. xxiv, 5 and note. 




Diocletiano Augusto Aelius Spartianus 

s u u s sal. 

I. In animo mihi est, Diocletiane Auguste, tot prin- 
cipum maxim e, non solum eos qui principum locum 
in hac statione quam temperas retentarunt, ut usque 
ad divum Hadrianum feci, sed illos etiam qui vel 
Caesarum nomine appellati sunt nee principes aut 
Augusti fuerunt vel quolibet alio genere aut in famam 
aut in spem principatus venerunt, cognitioni numinis 

2tui sternere. quorum praecipue de Helio Vero 
dicendum est, qui primus tantum Caesaris nomen 
accepit, adoptione Hadriani familiae principum ad- 

Sscitus. et quoniam nimis pauca dicenda sunt, nee 
debet prologus inormior 1 esse quam fabula, de ipso 
iam loquar. 

II. Ceionius Commodus, qui et Helius Verus appel- 

1 enormior P 3 ; aV morosior P 4 . 

1 On his adoption by Hadrian he took the cognomen Caesar, 




To Diocletian Augustus, his devoted servant, 
A elius Spartianus, greeting : 

I. It is my purpose, Diocletian Augustus, greatest 
of a long line of rulers, to present to the knowledge 
of your Divine Majesty, not only those who have held 
as ruling emperors the high post which you maintain 
I have done this as far as the Deified Hadrian 
but also those who either have borne the name of 
Caesar, though never hailed emperors or Augusti, or 
have attained in some other fashion to the fame of the 
imperial power or the hope of gaining it. Among 
these I must tell first and foremost ot Aelius Verus, 
who through his adoption by Hadrian became a mem- 
ber of the imperial family, and was the first to receive 
only the name ot Caesar. 1 Since 1 can tell but little 
of him, and the prologue should not be more extensive 
than the play, I shall now proceed to tell of the man 

II. The life of Ceionius Commodus, also called Aelius 

but, as he did not become emperor, he never assumed any of 
the imperial titles. From this time on, it was customary for 
the son of the reigning emperor to bear the name Caesar. 



latus est, quern sibi Hadrianus aevo ingravescente 
morbis tristioribus pressus peragrato iam orbe terrarum 
adoptavit, nihil habet in sua vita memorabile, nisi quod 

2 primus tantum Caesar est appellatus, non testamento, 
ut antea solebat, neque eo modo quo Traianus est 
adoptatus, sed eo prope genere quo nostris temporibus 
a vestra dementia Maximianus atque Constantius 
Caesares dicti sunt quasi quidam priiicipuni filii veri 
et l designati augustae maiestatis heredes. 

3 Et quoniam de Caesarum nomine in huius praecipue 
vita est .\liquid disputandum, qui hoc solum nomen 
indeptus 2 est, Caesarem vel ab elephanto, qui lingua 
Maurorum caesai dicitur, in proelio caeso, eum qui 
primus sic appellatus est doctissimi viri et eruditis- 

4 simi putant dictum, vel quia mortua matre et ventre 
caeso sit natus, vel quod cum magnis crinibus sit 
utero parentis effusus, vel quod oculis caesiis et ultra 
humanum morem viguerit. certe quaecumque ilia, 

5 felix necessitas fuit, unde tarn clarum et duraturum 
cum aeternitate mundi nomen effloruit. 

6 Hie ergo, de quo sermo est, primum Lucius Au- 
relius Verus est dictus, sed ab Hadriano adscitus in 
Heliorum familiam, hoc est in Hadriani, transcriptus 

l ueri et Obrecbt and others; uiri et P; uirtute Peter, fol- 
lowing Bernhardy. * aV adeptus P corr. 

1 On the correct form of his name see note to Hadr., xxiii. 11. 

2 In 136 ; see Hadr., xxiii. 10. 

3 The biographer seems to be thinking of the testamentary 
adoption of Octavian by Julius Caesar. 

4 Trajan, on his adoption, did not assume the name Caesar ; 
this seems to be the only difference. 

5 The elephant appears as an emblem on a coin of Julius 
Caesar ; see Cohen, i 2 , p. 17, No. 49. 

6 A caeso matris utero dictus, Plin., Nat. Hist., vii. 47. 

7 i.e., caesaries. This etymology is given by Festus, p. 57, 



Verus, 1 adopted by Hadrian 2 after his journey through 
the world, when he was burdened by old age and 
weakened by cruel disease, contains nothing worthy 
of note except that he was the first to receive only 
the name of Caesar. This was conferred, not by last 
will and testament, as was previously the custom, 3 nor 
yet in the fashion in which Trajan was adopted, 4 but 
well nigh in the same manner as in our own time your 
Clemency conferred the name of Caesar on Maxim- 
ianus and on Constantius, as on true sons of the imperial 
house and heirs apparent of your August Majesty. 

Now whereas I must needs tell something of the 
name of the Caesars, particularly in a life of the man 
who received this name alone of the imperial titles, 
men of the greatest learning and scholarship aver 
that he who first received the name of Caesar was 
called by this name, either because he slew in battle 
an elephant, 5 which in the Moorish tongue is called 
caesai, or because he was brought into the world after 
his mother's death and by an incision in her abdomen/ 
or because he had a thick head of hair 7 when he came 
forth from his mother's womb, or, finally, because he 
had bright grey eyes 8 and was vigorous beyond the 
wont of human beings. At any rate, whatever be the 
truth, it was a happy fate which ordained the growth 
of a name so illustrious, destined to last as long as the 
universe endures. 

This man, then, of whom I shall write, was at first 
called Lucius Aurelius Verus, 9 but on his adoption by 
Hadrian he passed into the family of the Aelii, that 

and both this and the preceding derivation are listed by 
Isidorus (Orig. y ix. 3, 12). 

8 i.e., oculis caesiis. 

9 An error; see note to Hadr., xxiii. 11. 



7 et appellatus est Caesar, huic pater Ceionius Corn- 
modus fuit, quern alii Verum, alii Lucium Aurelium, 

g multi Annium prodiderunt. maiores omnes nobilis- 
simi, quorum origo pleraque ex Etruria fuit vel ex 

9 Faventia. et de huius quidem familia plenius in 
vita Lucii Aurelii Ceionii Commodi Veri Antonini, 
filii huiusce, quern sibi adoptare Antoninus iussus 
10 est, disseremus. is enim liber debet omnia quae ad 
stemma generis pertinent continere, qui habet prin- 
cipem de quo plura dicenda sunt. 

III. Adoptatus autem Helius Verus ab Hadriano eo 
tempore quo iam, ut superius diximus, parum vigebat 

2et de successore necessario cogitabat. statimque 
praetor factus et Pannoniis dux ac rector impositus, 
mox consul creatus et, quia erat deputatus 1 imperio, 

siterum consul designatus est. datum etiam populo 
congiarium causa eius adoptionis conlatumque militi- 
bus sestertium termilies, circenses editi, neque quic- 
quam praetermissum quod posset laetitiam publicam 

4 frequentare. tantumque apud Hadrianum principem 
valuit ut praeter adoptionis adfectum, quo ei vide- 
batur adiunctus, solus omnia, quae cuperet, etiam per 

5litteras impetraret. nee provinciae quidem, cui 

6 praepositus erat, defuit ; nam bene gestis rebus vel 

1 deputans P 1 ; al* iam deputatus P corr. 

1 L. Ceionius Commodus, consul in 106. None of the vari- 
ous names given in the following clauses was ever borne by 

2 For the correct form of his name and for his adoption by 
Antoninus Pius see Hadr., xxiv. 1 and note. 

3 See Hadr., xxiii. 10 f. 

4 On this error see note to Hadr., xxiii. 13. 



is, into Hadrian's, and received the name of Caesar. 
His father was Ceionius Commodus, 1 whom some have 
called Verus, others, Lucius Aurelius, and many, 
Annius. His ancestors, all men of the highest rank, 
had their origin for the most part in Etruria or 
Faventia. Of his family, however, we will speak at 
greater length in the life of his son, Lucius Aurelius 
Ceionius Commodus Verus Antoninus, 2 whom An- 
toninus was ordered to adopt. For all that pertains 
to the family-tree should be included in the work 
which deals with a prince of whom there is more to 
be told. 

III. Aelius Verus was adopted by Hadrian at the 
time when, as we have previously said, 3 the Emperor's 
health was beginning to fail and he was forced to take 
thought for the succession. He was at once made 
praetor 4 and appointed military and civil governor of 
the provinces of Pannonia ; afterwards he was created 136. 
consul, and then, because he had been chosen to 
succeed to the imperial power, he was named for a 137. 
second consulship. On the occasion of his adoption 
largess was given to the populace, 5 three hundred 
million sesterces were distributed among the soldiers, 
and races were held in the Circus ; in short, nothing 
was omitted which could signalize the public rejoicing. 
He had, moreover, such influence with Hadrian, even 
apart from the affection resulting from his adoption, 
which seemed a firm enough tie between them, that 
he was the only one who obtained his every desire, 
even when expressed in a letter. Besides, in the 
province to which he had been appointed he was by 
no means a failure ; for he carried on a campaign with 
success, or rather, with good fortune, and achieved 

5 Cf. c. vi. 1 and Hadr. } xxiii. 12. 



potius feliciter etiams' non summi, medii tamen ob- 
tinuit ducis tamam. 

7 Hie tamen vaietudinis adeo miserae fuit ut Hadria- 
num statim adoptionis paenituerit potueritque l eum 
amovere a tarn ilia imperatoria, cum saepe de aliis 

S cogitaret, si forte vixisset.- fertur denique ab Us 
qui Hadriani vitam diligentius in litteras rettulerunt 
Hadrianum Veri scisse genituram et eum, quern lion 
multum ad rem publicam regendam probarat, ob hoc 
tantum adoptasse ut suae satisfaceret voluptati et, 
ut quidam dicunt, iuri iurando, quod intercessisse 
inter ipsum ac Verum secretis condicionibus fere- 

9 batur. fuisse eiiim Hadrianum peritum matheseos 
Marius Maximus usque adeo demonstrat ut eum dicat 
cuncta de se scisse, sic ut omnium dierum usque ad 

. horam mortis futures actus ante perscripserit. satis 
praeterea constat eum de 3 Vero saepe dixisse : 
" Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata neque ultra 
esse sinent." 

2quos v r ersus cum aliquando in hortulo spatians canti- 
taret atque adesset unus ex litteratis, quorum Hadria- 
nus sp^ciosa societate guudebat, velletque addere 

" nimium vobis Roman a propago 
visa potens, superi, propria haec si dona fuissent," 

3 Hadrianus dixisse fertur " hos versus vita non capit 
Veri," illud addens : 

1 So P 1 ; aV pet iu frit P corr. ; uolueritque Oberdick and 
others. 2 uohuritqiie eum amoncr? . . . et amouisaet si 

forte vixisset Novak. 3 So P ; eundem de Peter, following 
B, eiidem. 

l Ci. Hadr., xvi. 7. 

2 This and the two following quotations from the Am fid 
are taken from the famous passage, vi. b69-SS6, commemorat- 



the reputation, if not of a pre-eminent, at least of an 
average, commander. 

Verus had, however, such wretched health that 
Hadrian immediately regretted the adoption, and 
since he often considered others as possible successors, 
he might have removed him altogether from the im- 
perial family had Verus chanced to live longer. In 
fact, it is reported by those who have set down in 
writing all the details of Hadrian's life, that the Em- 
peror was acquainted with Verus' horoscope, and that 
he adopted a man whom he did not really deem suit- 
able to govern the empire merely for the purpose of 
gratifying his own desires, and, some even say, of 
complying with a sworn agreement said to have been 
contracted on secret terms between himself and 
Verus. For Marius Maximus represents Hadrian as so 
expert in astrology, as even to assert that he knew all 
about his own future, and that he actually wrote down 
beforehand what he was destined to do on every day 
down to the hour of his death. 1 IV. Furthermore, 
it is generally known that he often said about Verus : 
" This hero Fate will but display to earth 

Nor suffer him to stay." 2 

And once when Hadrian was reciting these verses 
while strolling about in his garden, one of the literary 
men, in whose brilliant company he delighted, 3 hap- 
pened to be present and proceeded to add, 

" The race of Rome, 

Would seem to You, O Gods, to be too great, 

Were such gifts to endure." 

Thereupon the Emperor remarked, it is said, " The 
life of Verus will not admit of these lines," and added, 

ing Marcellus, the nephew and heir presumptive of Augustus, 
who died in 23 B.C. at the age of twenty years. 
3 Cf. Hadr.,x\i. St. 




Manibus date lilia plenis ; 
purpureos spargam flores animamque nepotis 
his saltern accumulem donis et fungar inani 

4 cum quidem etiam illud dicitur cum l risione dixisse : 
5 " Ego mihi divum adoptavi non filium ". hunc 2 
tamen cum consolaretur unus de litteratis qui aderat 
ac diceret: " Quid 3 ? si non recte constellatio eius col- 
lecta est quern credimus esse victurum ? ' Hadrianus 
dixisse fertur : " Facile ista dicis tu, qui patrimonii 

6 tui non rei publicae quaeris heredem ". unde apparet 
eum habuisse in animo alium deligere atque hunc 
ultimo vitae suae tempore a re publica summovere. 

7 sed eius consiliis iuvit eventus. nam cum de pro- 
vincia Helius redisset atque orationem pulcherrimam, 
quae hodieque legitur, sive per se seu per scriniorum 
aut dicendi magistros parasset, qua kalendis lanuariis 
Hadriano patri gratias ageret, accepta potione, qua 
se aestimaret iuvari, kalendis ipsis lanuariis periit. 

Siussusque ab Hadriano, quia vota interveniebant, non 


V. Fuit hie vitae laetissimae, eruditus in litteris, 

Hadriano, ut malevoli loquuntur, acceptior forma 
2quam moribus. in aula diu non fuit, in vita privata 

etsi minus probabilis, minus tamen reprehendendus 

1 aV eum P corr. 2 nunc tamen cum eum P and Peter ; 

tune Petschenig. 3 So P ; quod Peter 1 with B. 

1 An allusion to the practice of deifying deceased members 
of the imperial family. As a matter of fact, however, Aeliua 
was not deified. 


AEL1US IV. 4 V. 2 

" Bring lilies with a bounteous hand ; 

And I the while will scatter rosy blooms, 

Thus doing honour to our kinsman's soul 

With these poor gifts though useless be the task." 
At the same time, too, Hadrian, it is reported, re- 
marked with a laugh : "I seem to have adopted, not a 
son, but a god "- 1 Yet when one of these same literary 
men who was present tried to console him, saying : 
"What if a mistake has been made in casting the 
horoscope of this man who, as we believe, is destined 
to live " ? Hadrian is said to have answered : " It is 
easy for you to say that, when you are looking for an 
heir to your property, not to the Empire ". This 
makes it clear that he intended to choose another 
heir, and at the end of his life to remove Verus from 
the government of the state. However, fortune aided 
his purpose. For after Verus had returned from his 
province, and had finished composing, either by his 
own efforts or with the help of imperial secretaries 
or the rhetoricians, a very pretty speech, still read 
nowadays, wherein he intended to convey his thanks 
to his father Hadrian on the Kalends of January, he Uan., 138. 
swallowed a potion which he believed would benefit 
him and died on that very day of January. 2 All public 
lamentation for him was forbidden by Hadrian because 
it was the time for assuming the vows for the state. 

V. Verus was a man of joyous life and well versed 
in letters, and he was endeared to Hadrian, as the 
malicious say, rather by his beauty 3 than by his 
character. In the palace his stay was but a short 
one ; in his private life, though there was little to be 
commended, yet there was little to be blamed. 

3 Of. Hadr. t xxiii. 16 f. a Ci Hadr., xxiii. 10. 



ac memor familiae suae, comptus, decorus, pulchritu- 
dinis regiae, oris venerandi, eloquentiae celsioris, 

3versu facilis, in re publica etiam non inutilis. huius 
voluptates ab iis qui vitam eius scripseruiit multae 
feruntur, et quidem ] non infames sed aliquatenus 

4diffluentes. nam tetrapharmacum, seu potius penta- 
pharmacum, quo postea semper Hadrianus est usus, 
ipse dicitur repperisse, hoc est sumeii phasianum 

5 pavonem pernam crustulatam et aprunam. de quo 
genere cibi aliter retert Marius Maximus, non penta- 
pharmacum sed teirapharmacum appellans, ut et nos 

6 ipsi in eius vita persecuti sumus. fertur etiam aliud 
7geiius voluptatis, quod Verus invenerat. nam lectum 

eminentibus quattuor anacliteriis fecerat minuto re- 
ticulo undique inclusum eumque foliis rosae, quibus 
demptum esset album, 2 replebat iacensque cum con- 
cubinis velamine de liliis facto se tegebat unctus 

Sodoribus Persicis. iam ilia frequentantur a nonnullis 
quod et accubitationes ac mensas de rosis ac liliis 
fecerit et quidem purgatis, quae etsi non decora, non 

9 tamen ad perniciem publicam prompta sunt. atque 

idem Apicii Caelii relata, idem Ovidii libros Amorum 3 

in lecto semper habuisse, idem Martialem, epigram- 

lOmaticum poetam, Vergilium suum dixisse. iam ilia 

1 et quidem Lessing ; eqic.dem P, Peter. 2 udum Ober- 

dick ; tabum Novak. s So Peter ; atque idem ouidii ab 

aliis relata idem apicii libros amorum P, which Salm. ar- 
ranged : idem Apicii relata idem Ouidii libros am. 

1 Hadr., xxi. 4. 

2 Apparently the extant Apicii Caelii de re coquinaria 
libri X, a collection of culinary recipes, which, however, in 
its present form is to be dated in the third century. The 
name of the compiler was probably taken from that of M. 
Gavius Apicius, a noted gourmet of the time of Tiberius. 


AELIUS V. s-io 

Furthermore, he was considerate of his family, well- 
dressed, elegant in appearance, a man of regal beauty, 
with a countenance that commanded respect, a 
speaker of unusual eloquence, deft at writing verse, 
and, moreover, not altogether a failure in public life. 
His pleasures, many of which are recorded by his 
biographers, were not indeed discreditable but some- 
what luxurious. For it is Verus who is said to have 
been the inventor of the tetrapharmacum, or rather 
pentapharmacum, of which Hadrian was thereafter 
always fond, namely, a mixture of sows' udders, 
pheasant, peacock, ham in pastry and wild boar. Of 
this article of food Marius Maximus gives a different 
account, for he calls it, not pentapharmacum, but 
tetrapharmacum, as we have ourselves described it in 
our biography of Hadrian. 1 There was also another 
kind of pleasure, it is said, of which Verus was the 
inventor. He constructed, namely, a bed provided 
with four high cushions and all inclosed with a fine 
net ; this he filled with rose-leaves, from which the 
white parts had been removed, and then reclined on 
it with his mistresses, burying himself under a coverlet 
made of lilies, himself anointed with perfumes from 
Persia. Some even relate that he made couches and 
tables of roses and lilies, these flowers all carefully 
cleansed, a practice, which, if not creditable, at least 
did not make for the destruction of the state. 
Furthermore, he always kept the Recipes of Caelius 
Apicius 2 and also Ovid's Amores at his bedside, and 
declared that Martial, 3 the writer of Epigrams, was 
his Vergil. Still more trivial was his custom of 
fastening wings on many of his messengers after the 

3 M. Valerius Martialis, born about 40, died about 102. 



leviora quod cursoribus suis exemplo Cupidinum alas 
frequenter adposuit eosque ventoruvn nominibus saepe 
vocitavit, Boream alium, alium Notum et item Aqui- 

11 lonem aut Circium ceterisque nominibus appellans et 
indefesse atque inhumaniter faciens cursitare. idem 
uxori conquerenti de extraneis voluptatibus dixisse 
fertur : " Patere me per alias exercere cupiditates 

meas ; uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non volup- 

i >' 

12 tatis . 

Eius est films Antoninus Verus, qui adoptatus est 

13 a Marco, vel certe cum Marco, et cum eodem aequale 
gessit imperium. nam ipsi suiit qui primi duo Augusti 
appellati sunt, et quorum fastis consularibus sic nomina 

14 praescribuntur ut dicantur non l duo Antonini sed 2 
duo Augusti. tantumque huius rei et novitas et 
dignitas valuit ut fasti consulares nonnulli ab his 
sumerent ordinem consulum. 

2 VI. Pro eius adoptione infinitam pecuniam populo 
et militibus Hadrianus dedit. sed cum eum videret 
homo paulo argutior miserrimae valetudinis, ita ut 

3 scutum solidius iactare non posset, dixisse fertur: 
" Ter milies perdidimus, quod exercitui populoque 
dependimus ; si quidem satis in caducum parietem 

4 incubuiinus 3 et qui non ipsam rem publicam, sed nos 

^ ipsos sustentare vix possit ". et haec quidem Hadria- 
nus cum praefecto suo locutus est. quae cum pro- 
didisset praefectus, ac per hoc Helius Caesar in dies 
magis magisque sollicitudine, utpote desperati hominis, 

1 non tantum P corr. " set P corr. ; et P 1 . 3 So P corr. 
and Peter 2 ; incuibimus P 1 . 

1 On this error see Marc., v. 1 and note. 

2 i.e. by Antoninus Pius ; see c. ii. 9 and note. 

AELIUS V. 11 VI. 5 

fashion of Cupids, and often giving them the names 
of the winds, calling one Boreas, another Notus, others 
Aquilo, or Circius, or some other like name, and forc- 
ing them to bear messages without respite or mercy. 
And when his wife complained about his amours with 
others, he said to her, it is reported : " Let me in- 
dulge my desires with others ; for wife is a term of 
honour, not of pleasure". 

His son was Antoninus Verus, who was adopted 
by Marcus, 1 or rather, with Marcus, 2 and received an 
equal share with him in the imperial power. For 
these are the men who first received the name of 
Augustus conjointly, and whose names are inscribed 
in the lists of the consuls, not as two Antonini but 
as two Augusti. And such was the impression 
created by the novelty and the dignity of this fact 
that in some of the lists the order of the consuls 
begins with the names of these emperors. 

VI. On the occasion of the adoption of Verus, 
Hadrian bestowed a vast sum of money on the popu- 
lace and the soldiery. 3 But, being a rather sagacious 
man, when he saw that Verus was in such utterly 
wretched health that he could not brandish a shield 
of any considerable weight, he remarked, it is 
said : 4 " We have lost the three hundred million 
sesterces which we paid out to the army and to 
the people, for we have indeed leaned against a 
tottering wall, and one which can hardly bear even 
our weight, much less that of the Empire". This 
remark, indeed, Hadrian made to his prefect, but the 
man repeated it, and as a result Aelius Caesar grew 
worse every day from anxiety, as a man does who has 

3 Cf. c. iii. 3 and Hadr., xxiii. 12. 

4 Cf. Hadr., xxiii. 14. 



adgravaretur, praefecto suo Hadrianus, qui rem pro- 
diderat, successorein dedit, volens videri quod verba 

6 tristia temperasset. sed nihil profuit ; nam, ut 
diximus, Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus Helius 
Caesar (nam his omnibus nominibus appellatus est) 
periit sepultusque est imperatorio funere, neque quic- 

7quam de regia ni mortis habuit dignitatem, doluit 
ergo illius mortem ut bonus pater, non ut bonus 
princeps. nam cum amici solliciti quaererent, qui 
adoptari posset, Hadrianus dixisse fertur iis : " Etiam 

Svivente adhuc Vero decreveram ". ex quo ostendit 

9aut iudicium suum aut scientiam futurorum. post 
hunc denique Hadrianus diu anceps quid faceret, 
Antoninum adoptavit Pium cognomine appellatum. 
cui condicionem addidit, ut ipse sibi Marcum et Verum 
Antoninus adoptaret filiamque suam Vero, non Marco 
10 daret. nee diutius vixit gravatus languore ac diverse 
genere morborum, saepe dicens sanum principem mori 
debere noil debilem. 

VII. Statuas sane Helio Vero per totum orbem 
colossas poni iussit, templa etiam in nonnullis urbibus 

2 fieri, denique illius merito filium eius Verum, nepotem 
utpote suum, qui pereunte Helio in familia ipsius 
Hadriani remanserat, adoptandum Anton ino Pio cum 
Marco, ut iam diximus, dedit, saepe dicens : " Habeat 

1 On the resignation of the prefect, see note to Hadr., ix. 4. 

2 See note to c. ii. 1. 

3 Annia Galeria Faustina the younger ; see Pius, x. 2. 



lost hope. Thereupon Hadrian appointed a successor l 
for the prefect who had divulged the remark, wishing 
to give the impression that he had qualified his harsh 
words. But it profited him nothing, for Lucius 
Ceionius Commodus Verus Aelius Caesar (for he was 
called by all these names 2 ) died and was accorded an 
emperor's funeral, nor did he derive any benefit from 
his imperial position save honour at his death. 
Hadrian, then, mourned his death as might a good 
father, not a good emperor. For when his friends 
anxiously asked who couid now be adopted, Hadrian 
is said to have replied to them : " I decided that even 
when Verus was still alive," thereby showing either 
his good judgment or his knowledge of the future. 
After Verus' death Hadrian was in doubt for a time 
as to what he should do, but finally he adopted 
Antoninus, who had received the surname Pius. And 
he imposed on Antoninus the condition that he in 
turn should adopt Marcus and Verus, and should give 
his daughter 3 in marriage to Verus, rather than to 
Marcus. Nor did Hadrian live long thereafter, but 
succumbed to weakness and illnesses of various kinds, 
all the while declaring that a prince ought to die, 
not in an enfeebled condition, but in full vigour. 

VII. Hadrian gave orders that colossal statues of 
Verus should be set up all over the world, and in some 
cities he even had temples built. Finally, out of re- 
gard for him, Hadrian gave his son Verus (who had 
remained in the imperial household after his father's 
death) to Antoninus Pius, as I have already said, 4 to 
be adopted as his son along with Marcus, treating the 
boy as if he were his own grandson ; and he often 
remarked : " Let the Empire retain something of 

: ' Let the Empire retain som 
4 o. ii. 9 ; v. 12 ; vi. 9 ; Hadr., xxiv. 1. 



3 res publica quodcumque de Vero ". quod quidera 
contrarium iis quae de adoptionis paenitentia per 
auctores plurimos intimata sunt, cum Verus posterior 
nihil dignurn praeter clementiam in moribus habuerit, 
quod imperatoriae farailiae lumen adterret. 

4 Haec stint quae de Vero Caesare mandanda litteris 

5 fiierunt. de quo idcirco non tacui, quia mihi propositum 
fuit omnes,, qui post Caesarem dictatorem, hoc est 
divum lulium. vel Caesares vel August! vel principes 
appellati sunt. quique in adoptationem venerunt, vel 
imperatorum filii aut parentes Caesarum nomine con- 
secrati sunt, singulis libris exponere, meae satisfaciens 
conscientiae, etiamsi multis nulla sit necessitas talia 


Verus". This indeed contradicts all that very many 
authors have written with regard to Hadrian's regret 
for his adoption of Verus, since, save for a kindly 
character, there was nothing in the character of the 
younger Verus capable of shedding lustre on the im- 
perial family. 

These are the facts about Verus Caesar which have 
seemed worthy of being consigned to letters. I was 
unwilling to leave him unmentioned for the reason 
that it is my purpose to set forth in single books the 
lives of all the successors of Caesar the Dictator, that 
is, the Deified Julius, whether they were called 
Caesars or Augusti or princes, and of all those who 
came into the family by adoption, whether it was as 
sons or as relatives of emperors that they were im- 
mortalized by the name of Csesar, and thereby to 
satisfy my own sense of justice, even if there be many 
who will feel no compelling need of seeking such 




I. Tito Aurelio Fulvo Boionio Antonino Pio pater- 
num genus e Gallia Transalpina, Nemausense scilicet, 

2 avus Titus Aurelius Fulvus, qui per honores diversos 
ad secundum consulatum et praefecturam urbis 

3 pervenit, pater Aurelius Fulvus, qui et ipse fuit con- 

4 sul, homo tristis et integer, avia materna Boionia 
Procilla, mater Arria Fadilla, avus maternus Arrius 
Antoninus, bis consul, homo sanctus et qui Nervam 

5 miseratus esset, quod imperare coepisset, soror 

6 uterina lulia Fadilla, vitricus lulius Lupus consularis, 

7 socer Aiinius Verus, uxor Annia Faustina, filii mares 
duo, duae feminae, gener per maiorem filiam Lamia 
Silanus, per minorem Marcus Antoninus fuere. 

lr The correct form of his name prior to his adoption was 
T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus ; see C.I.L., 
viii. 8239. 

2 The year is unknown; his first consulship was in 85. 
He had previously commanded the Third Legion, the Oallica, 
and had been honoured by Otho for successes against the 

3 His first consulship was in 69 ; the year of the second is 
not known. He was one of the correspondents of the 
younger Pliny. 

4 See Marc., i. 2. 

5 Her full name was Annia Galeria Faustina. 

6 Their names are given in their sepulchral inscriptions 
from the Mausoleum of Hadrian as M. Aurelius Fulvus 





I. Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Antoninus Pius l 
was descended, on his father's side, from a family which 
came from the country of Transalpine Gaul, more 
specifically, from the town of Nimes. His grandfather 
was Titus Aurelius Fulvus, who after various offices 
of honour attained to a second consulship 2 and the 
prefecture of the city ; his father was Aurelius Fulvus, 
also consul, and a stern and upright man. His 
mother was Arria Fadilla ; her mother was Boionia 
Procilla and her father Arrius Antoninus, twice con- 
sul 3 and a righteous man, who pitied Nerva that he 
assumed the imperial power. Julia Fadilla was his 
mother's daughter, his stepfather being Julius Lupus, 
a man of consular rank. His father-in-law was 
Annius Verus 4 and his wife Annia Faustina, 5 who 
bore him two sons 6 and two daughters, of whom the 
elder 7 was married to Lamia Silanus and the younger 8 
to Marcus Antoninus. 

Antoninus and M. Galerius Aurelius Antoninus ; see C.I.L., 
vi. 988 and 989. Both died before their father was adopted 
by Hadrian. 

7 Aurelia Fadilla. She died before her father's adoption 
(cf. c. iii. 6). Her sepulchral inscription is preserved (C.I.L., 
vi. 990). 

8 Annia Galeria Faustina the younger. On her marriage 
to Marcus see c. x. 2 and note. 



8 Ipse Antoninus Pius natus est XIII. kal. Oct. 
Flavio Domitiano XII. et Cornelio Dolabella con- 
sulibus in villa Laiiuvina. educatus Lorii in Aurelia, 
ubi postea palatium exstruxit, cuius hodieque re- 

9 liquiae manent. pueritiam egit cum avo paterno, mox 
cum materno, omnes suos religiose colens, atque adeo 
et consobrinorum et vitrici et multorum adfmium 
hereditate ditatus est. 

II. Fuit vir forma conspicuus, ingenio l clarus, mori- 
bus clemens, nobilis vultu, placidus ingenio, singu- 
laris 2 eloquentiae, nitidae litteraturae, praecipue 
sobrius, diligens agri cultor, mitis, largus, alieni ab- 
stinens, et omnia haec cum mensura et sine iactantia, 

2 in cunctis postremo laudabilis et qui merito Numae 

3 Pompilio ex bonorum sententia comparatur. 3 Pius 
cognominatus est a senatu, vl quod soceri fessi iam 
aetatem manu praesente senatu levaret (quod quidem 
non satis magnae pietatis est argumeiitum, cum impius 
sit magis qui ista non faciat, quam pius qui debitum 

4reddat 4 ), vel quod eos quos Hadrianus per malam 

5 valetudinem occidi iusserat, reservavit, vel quod 
Hadriano contra omnium studia post mortem infinites 

6 atque immensos honores decrevit, vel quod, cum se 

1 ingenio deleted by Peter, following Salm., who divides: 
forma conspicuus, clarus monbus, clemens, nobilis, uultu 
placidus, ingenio singulari, eloquentiae nitidae, lithraturae 
praecipuae, sobrius, diligens agri cut tor, etc. ; P punctuates : 
forma conspicuus ingenio clarus . moribus clemens . nobilis 
uultu placidus ingenio . singulari eloquentiae . nitidae lit- 
teraturae . praecipue sobrius . diligens . agri cultor., etc. 
*singularis P corr. 3 conparatus P; conparetur Keller- 

bauer. 4 quod quidem . . . reddat suspected as a marginal 

comment by Kellerbauer, probably rightly. 

a ln southern Etruria, about ten miles W. of Rome. The 
Via Aurelia ran N.W. from Borne along the coast of Etruria. 



Antoninus himself was born at an estate at Lanu- 19 Sept. 
vium on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of 8b ' 
October in the twelfth consulship of Domitiaiiand first 
of Cornelius Dolabella. He was reared at Lorium 1 on 
the Aurelian Way, where he afterwards built the 
palace whose ruins stand there to-day. He passed 
his childhood first with his paternal grandfather, then 
later with his maternal ; and he showed such a duti- 
ful affection toward all his family, that he was en- 
riched by legacies from even his cousins, his 
stepfather, and many still more distant kin. 

II. In personal appearance he was strikingly hand- 
some, in natural talent brilliant, in temperament 
kindly ; he was aristocratic in countenance and calm 
in nature, a singularly gifted speaker and an elegant 
scholar, conspicuously thrifty, a conscientious land- 
holder, gentle, generous, and mindful of others' rights. 
He possessed all these qualities, moreover, in the 
proper mean and without ostentation, and, in fine, 
was praiseworthy in every way and, in the minds of 
all good men, well deserving of comparison with 
Numa Pompilius. He was given the name of Pius 
by the senate, 2 either because, when his father-in-law 
was old and weak, he lent him a supporting hand in 
his attendance at the senate (which act, indeed, is 
not sufficient as a token of great dutifulness, since a 
man were rather undutiful who did not perform this 
service than dutiful if -he did), or because he spared 
those men whom Hadrian in his ill-health had con- 

2 The first three of the following reasons for the bestowal 
of the surname Pius on Antoninus are also given in Hadr., 
xxiv. 3-5. 'Jhe third is also given in Dio, Jxx. 2, 1, and 
the last in Eutrop., viii. 8; Suidas, s. v. Antonimts ; and 
Orosius, vii. 14, 1. 



Hadrianus interimere vellet, ingenti custodia et 
7diligentia fecit, ne id posset admittere, vel quod 

vere natura clementissimus et nihil temporibus suis 
Sasperum fecit. idem faenus trientarium, hoc est 

minimis usuris, exercuit, ut patrimonio suo plurimos 

9 Fuit quaestor liberalis, praetor splendidus, con- 

10 sul cum Catilio Severe, hie in omni privata vita 1 in 
agris frequentissime vixit, sed clarus in locis omnibus 

11 fuit. ab Hadriano inter quattuor consulares, quibus 
Italia committebatur, electus est ad earn partem Italiae 
regendam in qua plurimum possidebat, ut Hadrianus 
viri talis et honori consuleret et quieti. 

III. Huic, cum Italiam regeret, imperii omen est 
factum. nam cum tribunal ascendisset, inter alias 
adclamationes dictum est 'Auguste, dii te servent'. 

2 proconsulatum Asiae sic egit ut solus avum vinceret. 

3 in proconsulatu etiam sic imperii omen accepit : nam 
cum sacerdos femina Trallibus 2 ex more proconsules 

l uita om. in P, supplied (before priuata) by P corr. 
2 trallis P. 

1 Of. Hadr., xxiv. 9. 

2 The early rate of interest, said to have been fixed by the 
Twelve Tables, seems to have been 10 per cent. In the later 
republican period 12 per cent, was frequently exacted, but in 
54 B.C. money could be had for 4 per cent, and the rise of the 



demned to death, or because after Hadrian's death he 
had unbounded and extraordinary honours decreed 
for him in spite of opposition from all, or because, 
when Hadrian wished to make away with himself, 
by great care and watchfulness he prevented him 
from so doing, 1 or because he was in fact very kindly 
by nature and did 110 harsh deed in his own time. 
He also loaned money at four per cent, the lowest 
rate ever exacted, 2 in order that he might use his 
fortune to aid many. 

As quaestor a he was generous, as praetor illustrious, 
and in the consulship he had as colleague Catiliusl20. 
Severus. His life as a private citizen he passed 
mostly on his estates but he was well-known every- 
where. He was chosen by Hadrian from among the 
four men of consular rank under whose jurisdiction 
Italy was placed, 4 to administer that particular part 
of Italy in which the greater part of his own holdings 
lay ; from this it was evident that Hadrian had regard 
for both the fame and the tranquillity of such a man. 

III. An omen of his future rule occurred while he 
was administering Italy ; for when he mounted the 
tribunal, among other greetings some one cried, 
" God save thee, Augustus ". His proconsulship in 
Asia 5 he conducted in such a fashion that he alone 
excelled his grandfather ; and in this proconsulship, 
too, he received another omen foretelling his rule ; 
for at Tralles a priestess, being about to greet him 
after the custom of the place (for it was their custom 

rate to 8 per cent, was a matter for comment ; see Cicero, 
ad Att., iv. 15, 7 ; ad Quint. Fr., ii. 14, 4. 

3 About 111. 

4 See Hadr., xxii. 13. 

8 About 135. An inscription set up at Ephesus during his 
proconsulship is extant; see C.I.L., iii. 2965. 



semper hoc nomine salutaret, non dixit 'Ave pro 

4 consule/ seel ' Ave imperator*. Cyzici l etiam de 
simulacro del ad statuam eius corona translata est. 

5 et post consulatum in viridiario taurus marmoreus 
cornibus ramis arboris adcrescentibus adpensus est, 
et fulgur caelo sereno sine noxa in eius domum venit, 
et in Etruria dolia, quae defossa fuerant, supra terram 
reperta sunt, et statuas eius in omni Etruria examen 
apium replevit, et somnio saepe monitus est dis 
penatibus eius 2 Hadriani simulacrum inserere. 

6 Proficiscens ad proconsulatum filiam maiorem 

7 amisit. de huius uxore multa dicta sunt ob nimiam 
libertatem et vivendi facilitatem, quae iste cum 

Sanimi dolore compressit. post proconsulatum in 
consiliis Hadriani Romae frequens vixit, de omnibus, 
de 3 quibus Hadrianus consulebat, mitiorem sententiam 
semper cstendens. 

IV. Genus sane adoptionis tale fertur : mortuo Helio 
Vero, quern sibi Hadrianus adoptaverat et Caesarem 

2 nuncupaverat, dies senatus habebatur ; eo Arrius 
Antoninus soceri vestigia levans 4 venit atque idcirco 

Sab Hadriano dicitur adoptatus. quae causa sola esse 
adoptionis nee potuit omnino nee debuit, maxime 
cum et semper rem publicam bene egisset Antoninus 

1 cilici P 1 (for cidici; Salm.) ; cilicie (i.e. ae) P corr. 2 So 
Peter ; monitus sed penitus eius P ; monitus est penatibus eius 
Gas. ; monitus se dis penatibus eius Salm. s de om. in P, 

supplied by Jordan. 4 uel lauans P corr. 

1 Aurelia Fadilla ; see note to c. i. 7. 


to greet the proconsuls by their title), instead of 
saying "Hail, proconsul," said "Hail, imperator " ; 
at Cyzicus, moreover, a crown was transferred from an 
image of a god to a statue of him. After his consul- 
ship, again, a marble bull was found hanging in his 
garden with its horns attached to the boughs of 
a tree, and lightning irom a clear sky struck his 
home without inflicting damage, and in Etruria 
certain large jars that had been buried were found 
above the ground again, and swarms of bees settled 
on his statues throughout all Etruria, and frequently 
he was warned in dreams to include an image of 
Hadrian among his household gods. 

While setting out to assume his proconsular office 
he lost his elder daughter. 1 About the licence and 
loose living of his wife a number of things were said, 
which he heard with great sorrow and suppressed. 
On returning from his proconsulship he lived for 
the most part at Rome, being a member of the coun- 
cils of Hadrian, 2 and in all matters concerning which 
Hadrian sought his advice, ever urging the more 
merciful course. 

IV. The manner of his adoption, they say, was some- 
what thus : After the death of Aelius Verus, whom 
Hadrian had adopted and named Caesar, a day 
was set for the meeting of the senate, and to this 
Arrius Antoninus came, supporting the steps of his 
father-in-law. For this act, it is said, Hadrian 
adopted him. 3 But this could not have been the 
only reason for the adoption, nor ought it to have 
been, especially since Antoninus had always done well 
in his administration of public office, and in his pro- 

2 See note to Hadr., viii. 9. 

3 But see c. ii. 3 ; Hadr., xxiv. 3. 



et in proconsulatu se sanctum gravemque praebuisset. 

4 ergo cum eum Hadriaiius adoptare se velle publicasset, 
acceptum est spatium deliberandi, utrum adrogari ab 

5 Hadriano vellet. adoptionis lex huiusmodi data est, 
ut quemadmodum Antoninus ab Hadriano adopta- 
batur ita sibi ille adoptaret M. Antoninum, fratris 
uxoris suae filium, et L. Verum, Helii Veri, qui ab 
Hadriano adoptatus fuerat, filium, qui postea Verus 

6 Antoninus est dictus. adoptatus est V. kal. Mart, 
die, in senatu gratias agens quod de se ita sensisset 

7 Hadrianus, factusque est patri et in imperio pro- 

8 consular! et in tribunicia potestate collega. huius 
primum hoc fertur quod, cum ab uxore l argueretur 
quasi parum nescio quid suis largiens, dixerit : 
" Stulta, posteaquam ad imperium transivimus, et 

9illud quod habuimus ante perdidimus ". congiarium 
lOpopulo 2 de proprio dedit et ea quae pater pro- 
miserat. et ad opera Hadrian! plurimum contulit et 
aurum coronarium, quod adoptionis suae causa 
oblatum fuerat, Italicis totum, medium provinciali- 
bus reddidit. 

1 ab uxore P corr. (P 1 omits ab) ; uxor Mommsen ; cum ab 
uxore argueretur quasi carum (or rarum) nescio quid suis 
largiens Salm. 2 militibus, before populo in P, deleted by 
Jordan ; militibus ac populo vulg. 

!Cf. Hadr., xxiv. 1 ; Ael, vi. 9 ; Dio, Ixix. 21, 1. On the 
names of his two adopted sons see notes to Hadr., xxiv. 1. 

2 According to the Calendar of Philocalus of 351 the date 
was afterwards commemorated by races in the circus at 
Lorium ; see C.I.L., i 2 , pp. 258 and 310. 

3 By the bestowal of these two powers, the basis of the 
civil and of the military power of the emperor respectively, 
he became consors imperil, or partner in the imperial power. 
Such a position had often been besiowed on the heir apparent 
of the emperor. With regard to the proconsular power, 



consulship had shown himself a man of worth and 
dignity. At any rate, when Hadrian announced a 
desire to adopt him, he was given time for deciding 
whether he wished to be adopted. This condition 
was attached to his adoption, 1 that as Hadrian took 
Antoninus as his son, so he in turn should take Mar- 
cus Antoninus, his wife's nephew, and Lucius Verus, 
thenceforth called Verus Antoninus, the son of that 
Aelius Verus whom Hadrian had previously adopted. 
He was adopted on the fifth day before the Kalends 25 Feb., 
of March, 2 while returning thanks in the senate for 
Hadrian's opinion concerning him, and he was made 
colleague to his father in both the proconsular and 
the tribunician power. 3 It is related as his first 
remark, that when he was reproved by his wife 
because he was not sufficiently generous to his house- 
hold in some trifling matter, he said : " Foolish 
woman, now that we have gained an empire, we have 
lost even what we had before ". To the people he 
gave largess on his own account 4 and also paid the 
moneys that his father had promised. He contributed 
a large amount of money, too, to Hadrian's public 
works, 5 and of the crown-gold 6 which had been 
presented to him on the occasion of his adoption, he 
returned all of Italy's share, and half of their share 
to the provinces. 

the convention was always observed that it was valid only in 
the provinces, and the title of proconsul was not borne by the 
emperor within the confines of Italy. 

4 Commemorated by coins of 139 with the legend Libera- 
litas; see Cohen, ii 2 , p. 3L6 f., Nos. 480-482. 

5 Attested by inscriptions from various towns of Italy; see 
E. E. Bryant, Reign uf Ant. Pius (Cambridge, 1896), p. 38. 

6 See Hadr., vi. 5 and note. 



V. Et patri, cum advixit, 1 religiosissime paruit. sed 
Hadriano apud Baias mortuo reliquias eius Romam 
pervexit sancte ac reverenter atque in hortis Domitiae 
conlocavit, etiam repugnaiitibus cunctis inter divos 

2 eum rettulit. uxorem Faustinam Augustam appellari 
a senatu permisit. Pii appellationem recepit. patri et 
matri atque avis et fratribus iam mortuis statuas decre- 
tas libenter accepit. circenses natali suo dicatos non 
respuit aliis honoribus refutatis. clipeum Hadriano 
magnificentissimum posuit et sacerdotes instituit. 

3 Factus imperator nulli eorum quos Hadrianus 
provexerat successorem dedit fuitque ea constantia 
ut septenis et novenis annis in provinciis bonos 

4 praesides detineret. per legates suos plurima bella 
gessit. nam et Britannos per Lollium Urbicum vicit 
legatum alio muro caespiticio summotis barbaris 
ducto, et Mauros ad pacem postulandam coegit, et 

l cum aduixit P ] ; quoad uixit P corr. ; dum aduixit Salm; 
cum aduixerit Peter. 

1 See Hadr., xxv. 6. 2 See Hadr., xxvii. 2. 

8 On the coins issued in her honour during her life-time she 
is regularly called Faustina Aug. Antonini Aug. P. P. ; see 
Cohen, ii 2 . p. 424 f. 

4 The name appears on coins of the latter part of 138 ; see 
Cohen, ii 2 . p. 277, No. 66 f. 

6 On such games see Hadr., viii. 2 and note. Races in 
honour of Antoninus are listed for the 19 September (his birth- 
day) in the Calendar of Philocalus. 

6 The clipeus was a shield-shaped plate of metal, in this 
case doubtless of gold. It contained, sometimes an honor- 
ary inscription, sometimes a bust in high relief. 

7 See Hadr., xxvii. 3 and note. 

8 Q. Lollius Urbicus had held a command in the war in 
Judaea under Hadrian, and later had been governor of 
Germania Inferior. 

9 Probably in 142, for in an inscription of this year he is 
designated as Imp. II. ; see C.I.L., x. 515 = Dessau, Ins. Sel. t 



V. His father, as long as he lived, he obeyed most 
scrupulously, and when Hadrian passed away at 
Baiae l he bore his remains to Rome with all piety 
and reverence, and buried him in the gardens of 
Domitia ; moreover, though all opposed the measure, 
he had him placed among the deified. 2 On his wife 
Faustina he permitted the senate to bestow the name 
of Augusta, 3 and for himself accepted the surname 
Pius. 4 The statues decreed for his father, mother, 
grandparents and brothers, then dead, he accepted 
readily ; nor did he refuse the circus-games ordered 
for his birthday, 5 though he did refuse other honours. 
In honour of Hadrian he set up a superb shield 6 and 
established a college of priests. 7 

After his accession to the throne he removed none 
of the men whom Hadrian had appointed to office, 
and, indeed, was so steadfast and loyal that he re- 
tained good men in the government of provinces for 
terms of seven and even nine years. He waged a 
number of wars, but all of them through his legates. 
For Lollius Urbicus, 8 his legate, overcame the 
Britons 9 and built a second wall, one of turf, 10 after 
driving back the barbarians. Through other legates or 
governors, he forced the Moors to sue for peace, 11 and 

340. The victory is commemorated on coins with the legend 
Britannia and designs signifying a victory ; see Cohen, ii-. p. 
281 f., Nos. 113-116, 119. The revolt was begun by the 
Brigantes, who lived just south of Hadrian's wall ; see Paus., 
viii. 43, 4. 

10 It ran from the Firth of Forth, to the Firth of Clyde, a 
distance of 40 mile?;. It was constructed by the soldiers of 
three legions, the II. Augusta, the VI. Victrix, and the XX. 
Valeria Victrix ; see C. J.L., vii. p. 191-194. 

11 The rebellion seems to have been in western Mauretania, 
the province of Mauretania Tingitana; see Paus., viii. 43, 



Germanos et Dacos et multas gentes atque ludaeos 

5rebellantes contudit per praesides ac legates, in 

Achaia etiam atque Aegypto rebelliones repressit. 

VI. Alanos molientis saepe refrenavit. procuratores suos 

et modeste suscipere tributa iussit et excedentes 1 

modum rationem factorum suorum reddere praecepit, 

nee umquam ullo laetatus est lucre, quo provincialis 

2 oppressus est. contra procuratores suos conquerentes 
libenter audivit. 

3 lis quos Hadrianus damnaverat in seiiatu indul- 
gentias petiit, dicens etiam ipsum Hadrianum hoc 

4 fuisse facturum. imperatorium fastigium ad summam 
civilitatem deduxit, umle plus crevit, recusantibus 
aulicis ministris, qui illo nihil per internuntios agente 
nee terrere poterant homines aliquando nee ea 

5 quae occulta non erant vendere. senatui tantum 
detulit imperator quantum, cum privatus esset, deferri 

6sibi ab alio principe optavit. patris patriae nomen 
delatum a senatu, quod primo distulerat, cum ingenti 

1 So P corr. ; terdecentes P l . 

3, and C.I.I/., iii. 5211-5215. It probably took place about 
145, although it is aigued by Bryant (op. cit. p. 71 f.) that it is 
to be placed in 152. The victory is commemorated in an in- 
scription in Rome, C I.L., vi. 1208. 

1 This victory is a 1 so commemorated in the inscription 
C./.Z/ , vi. 1208. The time of this campaign is set by Bryant 
(p. 52) as between 140 and 145. 

2 About 157. See Aristid., Or., xiv, vol. i. 351 Dind., and 
C.I.L., iii. 1416. 

3 It is described by Aristides (Or., xiv. i. 351 Dind.) as an 
outbreak of those who lived on the shore of the Red Sea. 
According to Joannes Malalas (p. 280 f. Bonn) Antoninus went 
in person to Alexandria at the time of the revolt, but this is 
almost certainly an error (cf. c vii. 11). 

4 This people lived in south-eastern Russia, between the Don 
and the Caspian Sea, and had made raids into Armenia and 



crushed the Germans l and the Dacians 2 and many 
other tribes, and also the Jews, who were in revolt. 
In Achaea also and in Egypt 3 he put down rebellions 
and many a time sharply checked the Alani 4 in their 
raiding. VI. His procurators were ordered to levy 
only a reasonable tribute, and those who exceeded a 
proper limit were commanded to render an account 
of their acts, nor was he ever pleased with any reven- 
ues that were onerous to the provinces. Moreover, 
he was always willing to hear complaints against his 

He besought the senate to pardon those men whom 
Hadrian had condemned, 5 saying that Hadrian him- 
self had been about to do so. The imperial pomp he 
reduced to the utmost simplicity and thereby gained 
the greater esteem, though the palace-attendants op- 
posed this course, for they found that since he made 
no use of go-betweens, they could in no wise terrorize 
men or take money for decisions about which there 
was no concealment. 6 In his dealings with the 
senate, he rendered it, as emperor, the same respect 
that he had wished another emperor to render him 
when he was a private man. When the senate 
offered him the title of Father of his Country, he 

Cappadocia in the time of Hadrian. They afterwards spread 
toward the west, and invaded the Empire by way of Moesia. 

5 See Hadr., xxv. 8. 

6 Under those emperors who were careless in the announce- 
ment of decisions or in "answers to petitions it was not un- 
usual for a dishonest favourite or official to demand money 
from petitioners for securing a favourable answer; he would 
then either actually influence the emperor in his decision, or, 
more often, merely claim that a favourable decision had been 
secured by his own efforts, and demand the payment of the 
bribe. This practice was known as fumos vendere; see c. 
ari. 1 ; Alex., xxiii. 8 ; xxxvi. 2. 



7gratiarum actione suscepit. tertio anno imperil sui 

Faustinam uxorem perdidit, quae a senatu consecrata 

est delatis circensibus atque templo et flaminicis et 

statuis aureis atque argenteis ; cum etiam ipse hoc 

concesserit, ut imago eius cunctis circensibus ponere- 

8tur. statuam auream delatam a senatu positam 

9 suscepit. M. Antoninum quaestorem consulem 

lopetente senatu creavit. Annium Verum, qui postea 

dictus est Antoninus, ante tempus quaestorem desig- 

11 navit. neque de provinciis neque de ullis actibus 
quicquam constituit, nisi quod prius ad amicos rettulit, 

12 atque ex eorum sententia formas composuit. visus 
est sane ab amicis et cum privatis vestibus et domes- 
tica quaedam gerens. 

VII. Tanta sane diligentia subiectos sibi populos 

rexit ut omnia et omnes, quasi sua essent, curaret. 

2 provinciae sub eo cunctae floruerunt. quadruplatores 

3exstincti sunt. publicatio bonorum rarior quam 

umquam fuit, ita ut unus tantum proscriberetur 

1 See Hadr., vi. 4 and note. Pius accepted the title in 
139, for it appears for the first time on coins of this year ; e.g., 
Cohen, ii 2 . p. 279, No. 98 f. 

2 Many coins were struck in her honour with the title 
Diva Faustina. The actual apotheosis is represented by her 
ascension to heaven on an eagle with the legend Consecratio ; 
see Cohen, ii 3 . p. 427, Nos. 182-185. 

3 On the Sacra Via, near the eastern end of the Forum. It 
is still standing and is used as the church of S. Lorenzo in 
Miranda. It was also dedicated to Antoninus after his death 



at first refused it, 1 but later accepted it with an 
elaborate expression of thanks. On the death of 
his wife Faustina, in the third year of his reign, the 141. 
senate deified her, 2 and voted her games and a 
temple 3 and priestesses and statues of silver and of 
gold. These the Emperor accepted, and further- 
more granted permission that her statue be erected 
in all the circuses ; and when the senate voted 
her a golden statue, he undertook to erect it himself. 
At the instance of the senate, Marcus Antoninus, 140. 
now quaestor, was made consul ; also Annius Verus, 4 
he who was afterwards entitled Antoninus, was ap- 
pointed quaestor before the legal age. 5 Never did 
he resolve on measures about the provinces or render 
a decision on any question without previously con- 
sulting his friends, 6 and in accordance with their 
opinions he drew up his final statement. And indeed 
he often received his friends without the robes of 
state and even in the performance of domestic duties. 
VII. With such care did he govern all peoples 
under him that he looked after all things and all men 
as if they were his own. As a result, the provinces 
all prospered in his reign, informers were abolished, 
the confiscation of goods was less frequent than 
ever before, and only one man was condemned as 
guilty of aspiring to the throne. This was Atilius 

(c. xiii. 4), and the names of both Antoninus and Faustina 
appear in the inscription on the architrave (C.I.L., vi. 1005). 

4 i.e., Lucius Verus. 

5 In the time of the empire the minimum age was twenty- 
five. Exceptions to this, however, were common in the case 
of members of the imperial family ; see also the case of 
Marcus (Marc., v. 6). Verus was made quaestor at the age 
of twe.ity-three ; see Verus, ii. 11. 

6 Apparently, the members of his consilium; see Hadr., 
viii. 9. 



4adfectatae tyrannidis reus, hoc est Atilius Titianus, 
senatu puniente, a quo conscios requiri vetuit, filio 
eius ad omnia semper adiuto. periit et Prisciaiius 
reus adfectatae tyrannidis, sed morte voluntaria. de 
qua coniuratione quaeri vetuit. 

5 Victus Aiitonini Pii talis fuit ut esset opulentia 
sine reprehensione, parsimonia sine sordibus, et mensa 
eius per proprios servos, per proprios aucupes pis- 

6 catores ac venatores instrueretur. balneum, quo 
usus fuisset, sine mercede populo exhibuit nee omnino 

7 quicquam de vitae privatae qualitate mutavit. salaria 
multis subtraxit, quos otiosos videbat accipere, dicens 
nihil esse sordidius, immo crudelius, quam si rem 
publicam is adroderet qui nihil in earn suo labore 

8 conferret. unde etiam Mesomedi lyrico salarium 
inminuit. rationes omnium provinciarum adprime 

9 scivit et vectigalium. patrimonium privatum in 
filiam contulit, sed fructus rei publicae donavit. 

10 species imperatorias superHuas et praedia vendidit et 
in suis propriis iuiidis vixit varie ac pro temporibus. 

11 nee ullas expeditiones obiit, nisi quod ad agros suos 
profectus est et ad Campaniam, dicens gravem esse 
provincialibus comitatum principis, etiam nimis parci. 

12 et tamen ingenti auctoritate apud omnes gentes fuit, 
cum in urbe propterea sederet, ut undique nuntios, 
medius utpote, citius posset accipere. 1 


aV anticipare P corr. 

1 See note to Hadr., xv. 6. 2 Hadr., vii. 4. 

3 In view of this statement, it seems necessary to refuse 
credence to the assertion of Aristides (Or., xxiii. i. 453 f. Dind.) 
and Malalas (p. 280 Bonn) that Antoninus went in person to 
Egypt and Syria; see note to c. v. 5. 



Titianus, 1 and it was the senate itself that conducted 
his prosecution/- while the Emperor forbade any in- 
vestigation about the fellow-conspirators of Atilius 
and always aided his son to attain all his desires. 
Priscianus did indeed die for aspiring to the throne, 
but by his own hand, and about his conspiracy also 
the Emperor forbade any investigation. 

The board of Antoninus Pius was rich yet never 
open to criticism, frugal yet not stingy ; his table was 
furnished by his own slaves, his own fowlers and 
fishers and hunters. A bath, which he had previously 
used himself, he opened to the people without charge, 
nor did he himself depart in any way from the manner 
of life to which he had been accustomed when a private 
man. He took away salaries from a number of men 
who held obvious sinecures, saying there was nothing 
meaner, nay more unfeeling, than the man who nibbled 
at the revenues of the state without giving any service 
in return ; for the same reason, also, he reduced the 
salary of Mesomedes, the lyric poet. The budgets of 
all the provinces and the sources of revenue he knew 
exceedingly well. He settled his private fortune on 
his daughter, but presented the income of it to the 
state. Indeed, the superfluous trappings of royal state 
and even the crown-lands he sold, living on his own 
private estates and varying his residence according to 
the season. Nor did he undertake any expedition 3 
other than the visiting ot his lands in Campania, aver- 
ring that the equipage of an emperor, even of one over 
frugal, was a burdensome thing to the provinces. And 
yet he was regarded with immense respect by all na- 
tions, for, making his residence in the city, as he did, for 
the purpose of being in a central location, he was able to 
receive messages from every quarter with equal speed. 



VIII. Congiarium populo dedit, militibus donativum 
addidit. puellas alimentarias in honorem Faustinae 

2 Faustinianas constituit. opera eius haec exstant : 
Romae templum Hadriani, honori patris dicatum, 
Graecostadiura post incendium restitutum, instaura- 
tum Amphitheatrum, sepulchrum Hadriani, templum 

3 Agrippae, Pons Sublicius, Phari restitutio, Caietae 
portus, Tarracinensis portus restitutio, lavacrum 
Ostiense, Antiatum aquae ductus, templa Lanuviana. 

4 multas etiam civitates adiuvit pecuiiia, ut opera vel 
nova facerent vel vetera restituerent, ita ut et magis- 
tratus adiuvaret et senatores urbis ad functiones suas. 

5 Hereditates eorum qui filios habebant repudiavit. 
primus constituit, ne poenae causa legatum relictum 

Gmaneret. successorem viventi bono iudici nulli dedit 

1 On nine different occasions, according to coins with the 
legend Libiralitas; see Cohen, ii 2 . p. 316-322, Nos. 480-532. 

a In 145, on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter 
Faustina to Marcus; see c. x. 2. 

3 Similar endowments for destitute children had been 
made by Nerva (Aur. Viet., Epit., xii. 4) and by Trajan (Dio, 
Ixviii. 5, and C.I.I/., xi. 1146). This memorial to Faustina 
was commemorated on coins with the legend Puellae 
Faustinianae ; see Cohen, ii 2 . p. 433, Nos. 261-263. A similar 
endowment in memory of the younger Faustina was es- 
tablished by Marcus ; see Marc., xxvi. 6. 

4 Situated in the Campus Martius, probably not far from 
the Pantheon. It is represented as an octastyle temple on a 
coin of 151 ; see Cohen, h 2 . p. 330, No. 618. The temple was 
probably dedicated in 145; see Verus, iii. 1. 

6 Probably the Graecostasis. It was a sort of platform, 
between the Senate-house and the Rostra, used by envoys 
from foreign nations; see Varro, Ling. Lat., v. 155. 

6 See c. ix. i. 7 i.e. the Colosseum. 

8 See Hadr., xix. 11 and note. 

9 If this reading is correct the Pantheon must be meant ; 
see note to Hadr., xix. 10. However, perhaps it is an error 



VIII. He gave largess to the people, 1 and, in ad- 
dition, a donation to the soldiers, 2 and founded an 
order of destitute girls, called Faustinianae 3 in honour 
of Faustina. Of the public works that were con- 
structed by him the following remain to-day : the 
temple of Hadrian 4 at Rome, so called in honour of 
his father, the Graecostadium, 5 restored by him after 
its burning, 6 the Amphitheatre, 7 repaired by him, the 
tomb of Hadrian, 8 the temple of Agrippa, 9 and the 
Pons Sublicius, 10 also the Pharus, the port at Caieta, 
and the port at Tarracina, all of which he restored, 
the bath at Ostia, 11 the aqueduct at Antium, and the 
temples at Lanuvium. Besides all this, he helped 
many communities 12 to erect new buildings and to 
restore the old ; and he even gave pecuniary aid to 
Roman magistrates and senators to assist them in the 
performance of their duties. 

He declined legacies from those who had children 
of their own and was the first to establish the rule 
that bequests made under fear of penalty 13 should not 
be valid. Never did he appoint a successor to a 
worthy magistrate while yet alive, except in the case 

for Templum Augusti, the restoration of which is commemo- 
rated on coins of Pius; see Cohen, ii 2 , p. 270, Nos. 1-12. 

10 The earliest, and for a long time the only, bridge across 
the Tiber. It was built of piles, and after the construction of 
other bridges was preserved for religious and sentimental 
reasons. Its site was near the Forum Boarium, now the 
Piazza della Bocca di Verita. 

11 This had been promised by Hadrian ; see the dedicatory 
inscription, C.I.L., xiv. 98 = Dessau, Ins. SeL, 334. 

12 For a list see Bryant, p, 116 f. 

13 Apparently an allusion to the law which provided that a 
senator must leave a specified sum to the public treasury (or 
to the emperor) . This was rescinded by Pius; see Zonaras, 
xii. 1, p. 593 D., and Malalas, xi. p. 281 Dind. 



7 nisi Orfito praefecto urbi, sed petenti. nam Gavius 
Maximus praefectus praetorii usque ad vicensimum 
annum sub eo pervenit, vir severissimus, cui Tattius 

8 Maximus sv^eessit. in cuius demortui locum duos 
praefectos substituit Fabium Cornelium Repentinum 

9et Furium Victorinum. 1 sed Pepentinus fabula 
famosa 2 percussus est, quod per concuDmam principis 

10 ad praefecturam venisset. usque adeo sub eo nul) us 
percussus est senator, ut etiam parricida confessus in 
insula deserta poneretur, quia vivere illi naturae 

11 legibus non licebat. vini olei et tritici penuriam 
per aerarii sui damnum 3 emendo et gratis populo 
dando sedavit. 

IX. Adversa eius temporibus haec provenerunt : 

fames, de qua diximus, Circi ruina, terrae motus, quo 

Rhodiorum et Asiae oppida conciderunt, quae omnia 

mirifice instauravit, et Romae incendium, quod tre- 

2centas quadraginta insulas vel domos absumpsit. et 

1 So Borghesi and Hirschfeld ; Fabium Repentinum et Cor- 
nelium Victorinum P. 2 fabula famosa Novak ; famosa P ; 
famosa voce P corr. ; famosis Peter. 3 So Peter ; damno P. 

1 Several inscriptions set up in his honour are extant ; ac- 
cording to these he was granted consular honours on his re- 
tirement ; see Hadr., viii. 7 and note, and c. x. 6. 

2 Commemorated in several inscriptions. He was prefect 
of the vigiles, the watchmen and firemen, in 156, and was 
advanced to the prefecture of the guard about 158. 

3 See note to Hadr., ix. 5. 

4 For his death see Marc., xiv. 5. 
6 See note to Hadr., vii. 4. 

6 It is said that 1112 persons were killed ; see Mom m sen, 
Chron. Min. t i. 146. 



of Orfitus, the prefect of the city, and then only at 
his own request. For under him Gavius Maximus, 1 
a very stern man, reached his twentieth year of 
service as prefect of the ^uard ; he was succeeded by 
Tattius Maximus, 2 and at his death Antoninus ap- 
pointed two men 3 in his place, Fabius Cornelius 
Repentinus and Furius Victorinus, 4 the former of 
whom, however, was ruined by the scandalous tale 
that he had gained his office by the favour of the 
Emperor's mistress. So rigidly did he adhere to his 
resolve that no senator should be executed in his 
reign, 5 that a confessed parricide was merely 
marooned on a desert island, and that only because 
it was against the laws of nature to let such a one 
live. He relieved a scarcity of wine and oil and 
wheat with loss to his own private treasury, by buy- 
ing these and distributing them to the people free. 

IX. The following misfortunes and prodigies oc- 
curred in his reign : the famine, which we have just 
mentioned, the collapse of the Circus, 6 an earth- 
quake 7 whereby towns of Rhodes and of Asia were 
destroyed all of which, however, the Emperor re- 
stored in splendid fashion, and a fire at Rome which 
consumed three hundred and forty tenements and 
dwellings. 8 The town of Narbonne, 9 the city of 

7 The earthquake which destroyed Rhodes occurred about 
140 ; a description of it is given in an oration of Aristides 
(804 Dind.). The neighbouring island of Cos and the city of 
Stratonicea in Caria were also devastated. There seems to 
have been a second earthquake about 151, which devastated 
Bithynia, Lesbos, Smyrna and Ephesus. 

8 Mentioned also by Gellius, xv. 1, 2. 

9 See C.I.L., xii. 4342 arid p. 521. Narbo Martius, which 
had received the status of a colony in 45 B.C., was the capital 
of the province of Gallia Narbonensis. 



Narbonensis civitas et Antiochense oppidum et Car- 
Sthaginiense forum arsit. fuit et inundatio Tiberis, 

apparuit et stella crinita, natus est et biceps puer, et 
4uno partu mulieris quinque pueri editi sunt. visus 

est in Arabia iubatus anguis maior solitis, qui se a 

cauda medium comedit. lues etiam in Arabia fuit. 

hordeum in Moesia in culminibus arborum natum 

5 est. quattuor praeterea leones mansueti sponte se 
capiendos in Arabia praebuerunt. 

6 Pharasmanes rex ad eum Romam venit plusque illi 
quam Hadriano detulit. Pacorum regem Laziis dedit. 
Parthorum regem ab Armeniorum expugnatione solis 
litteris reppulit. Abgarum regem ex orientis parti- 

7 bus sola auctoritate deduxit. causas regales termina- 
vit. sellam regiam Parthorum regi repetenti, quam 

8 Traianus ceperat, pernegavit. Rhoemetalcen l in 
regnum Bosphoranum audito inter ipsum et cura- 

9 torem 2 negotio remisit. Olbiopolitis contra Tauroscy- 
thas in Pontum auxilia misit et Tauroscythas usque 

10 ad dandos Olbiopolitis obsides vicit. tantum sane 

1 rimtthalcen P. 2 Eupatorem Gary, Hist, des Rois du 
Bosphore, p. G4 (ed. Berol.). 

a Also included among his benefactions in Pans., viii. 
43, 4. 

2 King of the Hiberi ; see Hadr., xiii. 9 and note. He had 
refused to come to meet Hadrian (Hadr., xxi. 13), but now 
came to Rome with his wife ; see Dio, Ixix. 15, 3 = Ixx. 2, 1 

3 The Lazi lived on the south-eastern shore of the Black 
Sea, south of the river Phasis (Rion). 

4 Vologases III. He seems to have made preparations for 
a war against the Romans (Marc., viii. 6), and troops were 
despatched to Syria ob be Hum Parthicum; see C.I.L., ix. 
2457 = Dessau, Ins. Set., 1076. 

5 Of Osrhoene. 



Antioch, and the forum of Carthage l also burned. 
Besides, the Tiber flooded its banks, a comet was seen, 
a two-headed child was born, and a woman gave 
birth to quintuplets. There was seen, moreover, in 
Arabia, a crested serpent larger than the usual size, 
which ate itself from the tail to the middle ; and 
also in Arabia there was a pestilence, while in Moesia 
barley sprouted from the tops of trees. And besides 
all this, in Arabia four lions grew tame and of their 
own accord yielded themselves to capture. 

Pharasmenes, 2 the king, visited him at Rome and 
showed him more respect than he had shown Hadrian. 
He appointed Pacorus king of the Lazi, 3 induced the 
king of the Parthians 4 to forego a campaign against 
the Armenians merely by writing him a letter, and 
solely by his personal influence brought Abgarus the 
king* 5 back from the regions of the East. He settled 
the pleas of several kings. 6 The royal throne of the 
Parthians, which Trajan had captured, he refused to 
return when their king asked for it, 7 and after hear- 
ing the dispute between Rhoemetalces 8 and the im- 
perial commissioner, sent the former back his kingdom 
of the Bosphorus. He sent troops to the Black Sea 
to bring aid to Olbiopolis 9 against the Tauroscythians 
and forced the latter to give hostages to Olbiopolis. 

B See the coins of 140-144 with the legends Rex Armeniis 
datus and Rex Quadis datus, Cohen, ii 2 , p. 338 f., Nos. 686- 


7 It had been promised by Hadrian to Osrhoes, the prede- 
cessor of Vologases ; see Hadr. , xiii. 8. 

8 T. Julius Rhoemetalces, king of the Cimmerian Bos- 
phorus (the Crimea and the district east of the Strait of 
Kertch) from 131 to 153. Several inscriptions and coins of 
his are extant. 

9 Olbia or Olbiopolis was a Greek city on the river Hypanis 
(Bug) in south-western Russia. 



auctoritatis apud exteras gentes nemo habuit, cum 
semper amaverit pacem, eo usque ut Scipionis seiiten- 
tiam frequentarit, qua ille dicebat malle se unum 
civem servare quam mille hostes occidere. 

X. Mensem Septembrem atque Octobrem Antoni- 
num atque Faustiiium appellandos decrevit senatus, 

2sed id Antoninus respuit. nuptias filiae suae Fausti- 
nae, cum Marco Antonino earn coniungeret, usque 

3 ad donativum militum celeberrimas fecit. Verum 

4Antoninum post quaesturam consulem fecit, cum 
Apollonium, quern e Chalcide acciverat, ad Tiberia- 
nam domum, in qua habitabat, vocasset, ut ei Marcum 
Antoninum traderet, atque ille dixisset " non magister 
ad discipulum debet venire, sed d'scipulus ad magis- 
trum," risit eum, dicens, " facilius fuit Apollonio a 
Chalcide l Romam venire quam a domo sua in 
Palatium". cuius avaritiam etiam in 2 mercedibus 

snotavit. inter argumenta pietatis eius et hoc habetur 
quod, cum Marcus mortuum educatorem suum fleret 
vocareturque 3 ab aulicis ministris ab ostentatione 
pietatis, ipse dixerit : " Permittite, inquit, illi, ut 
homo sit ; neque enim vel philosophia vel imperium 
tollit adfectus ". 

1 calchida P. 2 in omitted in P. 3 uetareturque P 

corr. ; reuocareturque Gas. 

1 Cf. Eutrop., viii. 8. According to Aur. Victor, Epit., xv. 
4, ambassadors from the Indi, Bactri, and Hyrcani came to 

2 She had been betrothed by Hadrian to Lucius Verus ; see 
Ael., vi. 9 ; Marc., vi. 2 ; Verus t ii. 3. 

3 A Stoic philosopher, the teacher of both Marcus and 
Verus ; see Marc., ii. 7 ; iii. 1 ; Verus, ii. 5. He is mentioned 
with gratitude by Marcus in els eavr6v i. 8. His home 



No one has ever had such prestige among foreign 
nations as he/ for he was ever a lover of peace, even 
to such a degree that he was continually quoting the 
saying of Scipio in which he declared that he would 
rather save a single citizen than slay a thousand foes. 
X. When the senate declared that the months of 
September and October should be called respectively 
Antoninus and Faustinus, Antoninus refused. The 
wedding of his daughter Faustina, whom he espoused 145. 
to Marcus Antoninus, 2 he made most noteworthy, 
even to the extent of giving a donative to the soldiers. 
He made Verus Antoninus consul after his quaestor- 154. 
ship. On one occasion, he sent word to Apollonius, 3 
whom he had summoned from Chalcis, to come to the 
House of Tiberius 4 (where at the time he was stay- 
ing) in order that he might put Marcus Antoninus 
in his charge, but Apollonius replied "The master 
ought not come to the pupil, but the pupil to the 
master". Whereupon the Emperor ridiculed him, 
saying " It was easier, then, for Apollonius to come 
to Rome from Chalcis than from his house to my 
palace ". The greed of this man he had noticed even 
in the matter of his salary. It is related of him, 
too, as an instance of his "regard for his family, 
that when Marcus was mourning the death of his 
tutor and was restrained by the palace servants from 
this display of affection, the Emperor said : " Let 
him be only a man for once ; for neither philosophy 
nor empire takes away natural feeling ". 

was Chalcedon, according to Marc., ii. 7, Nicomedia, accord- 
ing to Dio, Ixxi. 35. 1 ; Chalcis is evidently an error. 

4 The Domus Tiberiana was at the northern end of the 
Palatine Hill ; very extensive ruins are extant. It seems to 
have been the usual residence of Pius when at Rome ; see 
Marc., vi. 3 ; Verus, ii. 4. 



6 Praefectos suos et locupletavit et ornamentis con- 

7 sularibus donavit. si quos repetundarum daninavit, 
eorum liberis bona paterna restituit, ea tamen lege 
ut illi provincialibus redderent quod parentes ac- 

8.9ceperant. ad indulgentias prouissimus fuit. edita 
munera, in quibus elephantos et corocottas et tigrides 
et rhinocerotes, crocodillos etiam atque hippopotamos 
et omnia ex toto orbe terrarum exhibuit. centum 
etiam leones cum tigridibus l una missione edidit. 

XI. Amicis suis in imperio suo lion aliter usus est 
quam privatus, quia et ipsi numquam de eo cum 
libertis per fumum aliquid vendiderunt ; si quidem 

2libertis suis severissime usus est. amavit histrionum 
artes. piscando se et venando multum oblectavit et 
deambulatione cum amicis atque sermone. vindemias 

3 privati modo cum amicis agebat. rhetoribus et 
philosophis per omnes provincias et honores et salaria 
detulit. orationes plerique alienas esse dixerunt, 
quae sub eius nomine feruiitur ; Marius Maximus eius 

4proprias fuisse dicit. convivia cum amicis et privata 

5 communicavit et publica nee ullum sacrificium per 

6 vicarium fecit, nisi cum aeger fuit. cum sibi et filiis 

7 honores peteret, omnia quasi privatus fecit. fre- 
Squentavit et ipse amicorum suorum convivia. inter 

1 cum tigridibus, in P before exhibuit, placed after leones 
by Peter, deleted by Salm. and Novak. 

1 See note to Hadr., viii. 7. 

3 Probably in 148, in commemoration of the tenth anni- 
versary of his accession to power. Coins, evidently referring 
to these spectacles, were issued in 149 bearing the legend 
Munificentia and representations of a lion and an elephant; 
see Cohen, ii 2 , p. 325, Nos. 562-566. 



On his prefects he bestowed both riches and con- 
sular honours. 1 If he convicted any of extortion he 
nevertheless delivered up the estates to their children, 
providing only that the children should restore to the 
provinces what their fathers had taken. He was very 
prone to acts of forgiveness. He held games 2 at which 
he displayed elephants and the animals called corocot- 
tae and tigers and rhinoceroses, even crocodiles and 
hippopotami, in short, all the animals of the whole 
earth ; and he presented at a single performance as 
many as a hundred lions together with tigers. 

XI. His friends he always treated, while on the 
throne, just as though he were a private citizen, for 
they never combined with his freedmen to sell false 
hopes of favours, 3 and indeed he treated his freed- 
men with the greatest strictness. He was very fond 
of the stage, found great delight in fishing and hunt- 
in and in walks and conversation with his friends, 


and was wont to pass vintage-time in company with 
his friends in the manner of an ordinary citizen. 
Rhetoricians and philosophers throughout all the 
provinces he rewarded with honours and money. 
The orations which have come down in his name, 
some say, are really the work of others, according to 
Marcus Maximus, however, they were his own. He 
always shared his banquets, both public and private, 
with his friends ; and never did he perform sacrifices 
by proxy except when he was ill. When he sought 
offices 4 for himself or for his sons all was done as by 
a private individual. He himself was often present 
at the banquets of his intimates, and among other 

3 See note to c. vi. 4. 

4 i.e. went through the formality of asking the senate to 
confer them. 



alia etiam hoc civilitatis eius praecipuum argumentum 
est quod, cum domura Homulli viseiis miransque 
columnas porphyreticas requisisset, unde eas haberet, 
atque Homulius ei dixisset, " cum in domum alienam 
veneris, et mutus et surdus esto," patienter tulit. 
cuius Homulli multa ioca semper patieiiler accepit. 

XII. Multa de iure sanxit ususque est iuris peritis 
Vindio Vero, Salvio Valente, Volusio Maeciano, Ulpio 

2 Marcello et Diavoleno. seditiones ubicumque factas 
non crudelitate sed modestia et gravitate cornpressit. 

3 intra urbes sepeliri mortuos vetuit. sumptum muneri- 
bus gladiatoriis instituit. vehicularium cursum summa 
diligentia sublevavit. omnium quae gessit et in 
seiiatu et per edicta ratioiiem reddidit. 

4 Periit anno septuagensimo, sed quasi adulescens 
desideratus est. mors autem eius talis fuisse narratur : 
cum Alpinum caseum in cena edisset avidius, nocte 

5 reiectavit atque alia die febre commotus est. tertia 
die, cum se gravari videret, Marco Aiitonino rem 
publicam et filiam praesentibus praefectis com- 
mendavit Fortunamque auream, quae in cubiculo 

1 M. Valerius Homullus, cos. in 152. He tried to arouse 
the suspicion of Pius against Lucilla, Marcus' mother; see 
Marc., vi. 9. 

2 As incorporated in the Digesta and the Codex of Justinian, 
these deal with the questions of inheritances, adoption and 
guardianship, manumission, and the treatment of slaves by 
their masters. 

3 Verus, Maecianus and Marcellus are frequently cited in 
the Digesta. Maecianus was Marcus' instructor in law ; see 
Marc., iii. 6. 

4 Apparently an error f or lavolenus (Priscus), the celebrated 
jurist. He, however, was an older contemporary of Pliny, 



things it is a particular evidence of his graciousness 
that when, on a visit at the house of Homullus, 1 he 
admired certain porphyry columns and asked where 
they came from, Homullus replied "When you 
come to another's house, be deaf and dumb," and he 
took it in good part. In fact, the jibes of this 
same Homullus, which were many, he always took in 
good part. 

XII. A number of legal principles 2 were established 
by Antoninus with the aid of certain men, experts in 
jurisprudence, namely, Vindius Verus, 3 Salvius Valens, 
Volusius Maecianus, Ulpius Marcellus, and Diavo- 
leiius, 4 Rebellions, wherever they occurred, he sup- 
pressed 5 not by means of cruelty, but with modera- 
tion and dignity. He forbade the burial of bodies 
within the limits of any city ; he established a maxi- 
mum cost for gladiatorial games ; and he very care- 
fully maintained the imperial post. 6 Of everything 
that he did he rendered an account, both in the 
senate and by proclamation. 

He died in the seventieth 7 year of his age, but his 7 Mar., 
loss was felt as though he had been but a youth. 
They say his death was somewhat as follows : after 
he had eaten too freely some Alpine cheese at dinner 
he vomited during the night, and was taken with a 
fever the next day. On the second day, as he saw 
that his condition was becoming worse, in the presence 
of his prefects he committed the state and his daughter 
to Marcus Antoninus, and gave orders that the 
golden statue of Fortune, which was wont to stand 

and it can hardly be supposed that he was actually consulted 
by Pius. 

5 See c. v. 4-5. 8 See note to Hadr., vii. 5. 

7 Really in his seventy-fifth year; cf. c. i. 8. 



principum poni solebat, transferri ad eum iussit, 

6 signum l tribune aequanimitatis dedit atque ita con- 
versus quasi dormiret, spiritum reddidit apud Lorium. 

7 alienatus in febri nihil aliud quam de re publica et de 
8iis regibus quibus irascebatur locutus est. privatum 

patrimonium filiae reliquit. testamento autem omnes 
suos legatis idoneis prosecutus est. 

XIII. Fuit statura elevata decorus. sed cum esset 
longus et senex incurvareturque, tiliaciis tabulis in 

2 pectore positis fasciabatur, ut rectus incederet. senex 
etiam, antequam salutatores venirent, panem siccum 
comedit ad sustentandas vires, fuit voce rauca et 
sonora cum iucundidate. 

A senatu divus est appellatus cunctis certatim 
adnitentibus, cum omnes eius pietatem clementiam 
ingenium sanctimoniam laudarent. decreti etiam 
sunt omnes honores qui optimis principibus ante 

4 delati sunt. meruit et flaminem et circenses et 
templum et sodales Antoninianos solusque omnium 
prope principum prorsus sine 2 civili sanguine et 
hostili, quantum ad se ipsum pertinet, vixit et qui 
rite comparetur Numae, cuius felicitatem pietatemque 
et securitatem caerimoniasque semper obtinuit. 

1 signum Novak (so Peter 1 ); signatum P; signum turn 
Peter* with Petschenig. 2 sine omitted in P. 

1 Cf. Marc., vii. 3; see also Sev., xxiii. 5. 

2 Cf . c. vii. 9. 3 See note to c. vi. 7. 
4 See note to Hadr., xxvii. 3. 



in the bed-chamber of the emperor, 1 be given to him. 
Then lie gave the watchword to the officer of the day 
as " Equanimity," and so, turning as if to sleep, gave 
up the ghost at Lorium. While he was delirious with 
fever, he spoke of nothing save the state and certain 
kings with whom he was angry. To his daughter he 
left his private fortune, 2 and in his will he remem- 
bered all his household with suitable legacies. 

XIII He was a handsome man, and tall in stature ; 
but being a tall man, when he was bent by old age 
he had himself swathed with splints of linden-wood 
bound on his chest in order that he might walk erect. 
Moreover, when he was old, he ate dry bread before 
the courtiers came to greet him, in order that he 
might sustain his strength. His voice was hoarse 
and resonant, yet agreeable. 

He was deified by the senate, while all men vied 
with one another to give him honour, and all extolled 
his devoutness, his mercy, his intelligence, and his 
righteousness. All honours were decreed for him 
which were ever before bestowed on the very best of 
emperors. He well deserved the flamen and games 
and temple 3 and the Antoninine priesthood. 4 Almost 
alone of all emperors he lived entirely unstained by 
the blood of either citizen or foe so far as was in his 
power, and he was justly compared to Numa, whose 
good fortune and piety and tranquillity and religious 
rites he ever maintained. 





I. Marco Antonino, in omni vita philosophanti viro 
et qui sanctitate vitae omnibus principibus antecellit, 

2 pater Annius Verus, qui in praetura decessit, avus 
Annius . Verus, iterum l consul et praefectus urbi, 
adscitus in patricios 2 a Vespasiano et Tito censoribus, 

3 patruus Annius Libo consul, amita Galeria Faustina 
Augusta, mater Domitia Lucilla, 3 Calvisii Tulli bis 

4 consulis filia, proavus paternus Annius Verus praetorius 
ex Succubitano municipio ex Hispania 4 factus senator, 
proavus maternus Catilius Severus bis consul et prae- 
fectus urbi, avia paterna Rupilia Faustina, Rupilii 
Boni consularis filia, fuere. 

1 iterum P ; tertium Petschenig. 2 a princi2)ibus, follow- 
ing patricios in P, removed by Salm. 3 Lucilla Borghesi ; 
Caluilla P, Peter. 4 spania P 1 , Peter ; yspania P corr. 

1 M. Annius Verus was consul three times, first under 
Domitian, again in 121 and 126. 

2 See Pius, i. 6. 





I. Marcus Antoninus, devoted to philosophy as long 
as he lived and pre-eminent among emperors in 
purity of life, was the son of Annius Verus, who died 
while praetor. His grandfather, named Annius Verus 
also, attained to a second consulship, 1 was prefect of 
the city, and was enrolled among the patricians by 
Vespasian and Titus while they were censors. Annius 
Libo, a consul, was his uncle, Galeria Faustina 
Augusta, 2 his aunt. His mother was Domitia Lucilla, 
the daughter of Calvisius Tullus, who served as consul 
twice. 3 Annius Verus, from the town of Succuba in 
Spain, who was made a senator and attained to the 
dignity of praetor, was his father's grandfather ; his 
great-grandfather on his mother's side was Catilius 
Severus, 4 who twice held the consulship and was pre- 
fect of the city. His father's mother was Rupilia 
Faustina, the daughter of Rupilius Bonus, a man of 
consular rank. 

3 First in 109 ; the second date is unknown. 

4 See note to Hadr. t v. 10. 



5 Natus est Marcus Romae VI. kal. Maias in Monte 
Caelio in hortis avo suo iterum et Augure consulibus. 

6 cuius familia in originem recurrens a Numa probatur 
sanguinem trahere, ut Marius Maximus docet ; item a 
rege Sallentino Malemnio, Dasummi filio, qui Lupias 

7 condidit. educatus est in eo loco in quo natus est et 

8 in domo avi sui Veri iuxta aedes Laterani. habuit et 
sororem natu minorem Anniam Cornificiam, uxorem 

9 Anniam Faustinam, consobrinam suam. Marcus 
Antoninus principio aevi sui nomen habuit 1 Catilii 

10 Severi, materni proavi. post excessum vero patris ab 
Hadriano Annius Verissimus vocatus est, post virilem 
autem togam Annius Verus. patre mortuo ab avo 
paterno adoptatus et educatus est. 

II. Fuit a prima infantia gravis. at ubi egressus 
est annos qui nutricum foventur auxilio, magnis prae- 
ceptoribus traditus ad philosophiae scita pervenit. 

2 usus est magistris ad prima elementa Euphorione 
litteratore et Gemiiio comoedo, musico Androne 
eodemque geometra. quibus omnibus ut discip- 

3 linarum auctoribus plurimum detulit. usus praeterea 
grammaticis, Graeco Alexandro Cotiaeensi, 2 Latinis 

1 et, after habuit in P, deleted by Petrarch. 2 cotidianis 
P ; Cotiaensi Uhlig, Peter. 

1 In Calabria, about 20 miles S. of Brundisium. 
3 Annia Gornificia Faustina. She was married to Um- 
midius Quadratus. 
3 See Pius, i. 7. 

4 Probably M. Annius Catilius Severus. 
B So also Dio, Ixix. 21, 2. This name appears on Greek 



Marcus himself was born at Rome on the sixth day 26 Apr., 
before the Kalends of May in the second consulship 121 ' 
of his grandfather and the first of Augur, in a villa on 
the Caelian Hill. His family, in tracing its origin 
back to the beginning, established its descent from 
Numa, or so Marius Maximus tells, and likewise from 
the Sallentine king Malemnius, the son of Dasummus, 
who founded Lupiae. 1 He was reared in the villa 
where he was born, and also in the home of his grand- 
father Verus close to the dwelling of Lateranus. He 
had a sister younger than himself, named Annia 
Cornificia ; 2 his wife, who was also his cousin, was 
Annia Faustina. 3 At the beginning of his life Marcus 
Antoninus was named Catilius Severus 4 after his 
mother's grandfather. After the death of his real 
father, however, Hadrian called him Annius Verissi- 
mus, 5 and, after he assumed the toga virilis, Annius 
Verus. When his father died he was adopted and 
reared by his father's father. 

II. He was a solemn child from the very beginning ; 
and as soon as he passed beyond the age when chil- 
dren are brought up under the care of nurses, he was 
handed over to advanced instructors and attained to 
a knowledge of philosophy. In his more elementary 
education, he received instruction from Euphorion in 
literature and from Geminus in drama, in music and 
likewise in geometry from Andron ; on all of whom, 
as being spokesman of the sciences, he afterwards con- 
ferred great honours. Besides these, his teachers in 
grammar were the Greek Alexander of Cotiaeum, 6 and 

coins, Eckhel, D.N., vii. 69. It is perhaps an allusion to his 
love of frankness ; see Fronto, Epist., pp. 29, 34, 49. 

6 See els tour, i. 10. His funeral oration was delivered by 
Aristides, Or., xii. 



Trosio Apro et Pollione 1 et Eutychio Proculo Sic- 
4censi. oratoribus usus est Graecis 2 Aninio 3 Macro, 

Caninio Celere et Herode Attico, Latino Frontone 
5Cornelio. sed multum ex his Fronton! detulit, cui 

et statuam in senatu petiit. Proculum vero usque ad 

proconsulatum provexit oneribus 4 in se receptis. 

6 Philosophiae operam vehementer dedit et quidem 
adhuc puer. nam duodecimum annum ingressus 
habitum philosophi sumpsit et deinceps tolerantiam, 
cum studeret in pallio et humi cubaret, vix autem 
matre agente instrato pellibus lectulo accubaret. 

7 usus est etiam Commodi 5 magistro, cuius ei adfinitas 
fuerat destinata, 6 Apollonio Chalcedonio Stoico philo- 

III. sopho. tantum autem studium in eo philosophiae 

fuit ut adscitus iam in 7 imperatoriam tamen ad 

2domum Apollonii discendi causa veniret. audivit et 

Sextum Chaeronensem Plutarchi nepotem, lunium 

Rusticum, Claudium Maximum et Cinnam Catulum, 

l polono P ; Polione Peter. 2 graeco P. 3 So P corr. ; 
animo P 1 . 4 oneribus Turnebus ; honoribus P. f) So 

Obrecht ; commodo P. 6 usus est et, repeated before Ai>oll. 
Chal. in P, removed by Obrecht. 7 in om. in P 1 ; in i 

peratoriam dignitatem P corr. 

1 Ti. Claudius Atticus Herodes, consul in 143. The foremost 
orator of his time, he had a school at Athens attended by a 
great number of students. He presented public buildings to 
very many of the cities of Greece, but particularly to his 
native city, Athens, where he built the Odeum on the S.E. 
slope of the Acropolis and rebuilt the Stadium, using Pentelic 
marble. His life by Philostratus is extant (Vit. Soph., ii. 1). 

2 M. Cornelius Fronto, famous as an orator and man of 



the Latins Trosius A per, Pol Ho, and Eutychius Pro- 
culus ofSicca ; his masters in oratory were the Greeks 
Aninius Macer, Caiiinius Celer and Herodes Atticus, 1 
and the Latin Cornelius Fronto.' 2 Ot these he con- 
ferred high honours on Fronto, even asking the senate 
to vote him a statue ; but indeed he advanced Pro- 
culus also even to a proconsulship, and assumed the 
burdens 3 of the ofiice himself. 

He studied philosophy with ardour, even as a youth. 
For when he was twelve years old he adopted the 
dress and, a little later, the hardiness of a philosopher, 
pursuing his studies clad in a rough Greek cloak and 
sleeping on the ground ; 4 at his mother's solicita- 
tion, however, he reluctantly consented to sleep on 
a couch strewn with skins. He received instruc- 
tion, furthermore, from the teacher of that Corn- 
modus ft who was destined later to be a kinsman of 
his, namely Apollonius of Chalcedon, 6 the Stoic; 
III. and such was his ardour for this school of philo- 
sophy, that even after he became a member of the 
imperial family, he still went to Apollonius' resi- 
dence for instruction. In addition, he attended the 
lectures of Sextus of Chaeronea, 7 the nephew of 
Plutarch, and of Jiinius Rusticus, 8 Claudius Maximus, 9 
and Cinna Catulus, 10 all Stoics. He also attended 

letters, and for his correspondence with Pius, Marcus, and 

3 i.e. the giving of circus-games, the expense of which 
caused many to resign from tho consulship ; see Dio, Ix. 27, 2. 
The cost of tho games given by Fronto was borne by Pius ; 
see Fronto, Epist., p. 25. 

4 At the advice of his teacher Dioguetus ; see fit e'cun-oV, i. 6. 
6 i.e. Lucius Verus ; see note to Hadr., xxiv. 1. 

6 See Pius t x. 4 and note. 7 See es fain, i. 9. 

8 See f is iavr, i. 7. See ds W, i. 15. 10 See els lain, i. 18. 



SStoicos. Peripateticae vero studiosum l audivit Clau- 
dium Severum et praecipue lunium Rusticum, quern 
et reveritus est et sectatus, qui domi militiaeque 

4pollebat, Stoicae disciplinae peritissimum ; cum quo 
orania communicavit publica privataque consilia, cui 
etiamante praefectos praetorio semper osculum dedit, 

5 quern et consulem iterum designavit, cui post obitum 
a senatu statuas postulavit. tantum autem honoris 
magistris suis detulit ut imagines eorum aureas in 
larario haberet ac sepulchra eorum aditu hostiis flori- 

6 bus semper honoraret. studuit et iuri, audiens Lu- 

7 cium Volusium Maecianum. tantumque operis et 
laboris studiis impendit ut corpus adficeret atque in 

8 hoc solo pueritia eius reprehenderetur. frequentavit 
et declamatorum scholas publicas amavitque e 2 con- 
discipulis praecipuos senatorii ordinis Seium Fus- 
cianum et Aufidium Victorinum, ex equestri Bae- 

9bium Longum et Calenum. in quos maxime liberalis 
fuit, et ita quidem ut quos non posset ob qualitatem 
vitae rei publicae praeponere, locupletatos teneret. 

1 So Peter; studiosos P ; studiosus Gas., Jordan. 2 om. 
by P 1 ; ex P corr. 

1 Perhaps the " a8f\<f>6s " Severus mentioned in els e 
i. 14. 

2 The custom had arisen that the emperor should bestow 
a ceremonial kiss of greeting upon the senators and the fore- 
most of the equestrian order ; see Suet., Otho, vi ; Plin., Pan., 
23; Tac., Agr., 40. 

3 For the first time in 133, for the second in 162; he was 
also prefect of the city. 



the lectures of Claudius Severus, 1 an adherent of the 
Peripatetic school, but he received most- instruction 
from Junius Rusticus, whom lie ever revered and 
whose disciple he became, a man esteemed in both 
private and public life, and exceedingly well ac- 
quainted with the Stoic system, with whom Marcus 
shared all his counsels both public and private, 
whom he greeted with a kiss prior to the pre- 
fects of the guard, 2 whom he even appointed consul 
for a second term, 3 and whom after his death he 
asked the senate to honour with statues. On his 
teachers in general, moreover, he conferred great 
honours, for he even kept golden statues of them in 
his chapel, 4 and made it a custom to show respect for 
their tombs by personal visits and by offerings of 
sacrifices and flowers. He studied jurisprudence as 
well, in which he heard Lucius Volusius Maecianus, 
and so much work and labour did he devote to his 
studies that he impaired his health the only fault to 
be found with his entire childhood. He attended 
also the public schools of rhetoricians. Of his fellow- 
pupils he was particularly fond of Seius Fuscianus 5 
and Aufidius Victorinus, 6 of the senatorial order, and 
Baebius Longus and Calenus, of the equestrian. He 
was very generous to these men, so generous, in fact, 
that on those whom he could not advance to public 
office on account of their station in life, he bestowed 

4 See the similar practice of Severus Alexander, Alex., 
xxix. 2. 

5 Prefect of the city under Commodus (see Pert., iv. 3), and 
consul for the second time in 188. 

15 C. Aufidius Victorinus held a command in Germany (see 
c. viii. 8), was proconsul of Africa, and consul for the second 
time in 183. He married Fronto's daughter. 



IV. Educatus est 1 in Hadrian! gremio, qui ilium, 
ut supra diximus, Verissimum nominabat et qui ei 

2 honorem equi public! sexenni 2 detulit, octavo aetatis 

3 anno in Saliorum collegium rettulit. in saliatu omen 
accepit imperii : coronas omnibus in pulvinar ex more 
iacientibus aliae aliis locis haeserunt, huius velut manu 

4capiti Martis aptata est. fuit in eo sacerdotio et 
praesul et vates et magister et multos mauguravit 
atque exauguravit nemine praeeunte, quod ipse car- 
mina cuncta didicisset. 

5 Virilem togam sumpsit quinto decimo aetatis anno, 
statimque ei Lucii Ceionii Commodi filia desponsata 

6 est ex Hadriani voluntate. nee multo post prae- 
fectus Feriarum Latinarum fuit. in quo honore 
prae claris sime se pro magistratibus agentem et in 

7 conviviis Hadriani principis ostendit. post hoc 
patrimonium paternum sorori totum concessit, cum 
eum ad divisionem mater vocaret, responditque avi 
bonis se esse contentum, addens, ut et mater, si vellet, 
in sororem suum patrimonium conferret, ne inferior 

8 esset soror marito. fuit autem tanta indulgentia 3 

1 est P corr. ; esset P 1 . 2 equi publici sexenni Salm. ; et 

qui publicis exenni (exenniis) P. 3 fuit autem uitae indul- 
gentia, P, Peter ; tanta uitae indulgentia Novak. 

l c. i. 10. 

3 At the official banquet held by the Salii in some temple 
on their feast-day. 

3 i.e., L. Aelius Caesar, the adopted son of Hadrian; see 
also c. vi. 2. The daughter was probably the Fabia men- 
tioned in c. xxix. 10 and Ver., x. 3-4. 

4 Under the republic, this official was charged with the 
administration of Borne when both consuls were absent from 
the city conducting the Feriae Latinae on Mons Albanus. 
In the empire the office was continued, although only as a 
formality, and was given to young men of high rank and 



IV. He was reared under the eye of Hadrian, who 
called him Verissimus, as we have already related/ and 
did him the honour of enrolling him in the equestrian 
order when he was six years old and appointing him 
in his eighth year to the college of the Salii. While 
in this college, moreover, he received an omen of his 
future rule ; for when they were all casting their 
crowns on the banqueting- couch 2 of the god, ac- 
cording to the usual custom, and the crowns fell into 
various places, his crown, as if placed there by his 
hand, fell on the brow of Mars. In this priesthood 
he was leader of the dance, seer, and master, and 
consequently both initiated and dismissed a great 
number of people ; and in these ceremonies no one 
dictated the formulas to him, for all of them he had 
learned by himself. 

In the fifteenth year of his life he assumed the 135-136 
toga virilis, and straightway, at the wish of Hadrian, 
was betrothed to the daughter of Lucius Ceionius 
Commodus. 3 Not long after this he was made prefect 
of the city during the Latin Festival, 4 and in this 
position he conducted himself very brilliantly both in 
the presence of the magistrates and at the banquets 
of the Emperor Hadrian. Later, when his mother 
asked him to give his sister 5 part of the fortune left 
him by his father, he replied that he was content 
with the fortune of his grandfather and relinquished 
all of it, further declaring that if she wished, his 
mother might leave her own estate to his sister in its 
entirety, in order that she might not be poorer than 
her husband. So complaisant was he, moreover, that 

often to princes of the imperial family; see Tac., Ann., iv. 
36, and Suet., Nero, vii. 
6 See c. i. 8 and note. 



ut cogeretur nonnumquam vel in venationes pergere 
vel in theatrum descendere vel spectaculis interesse. 
9 operam praeterea pingendo sub magistro Diogneto l 
dedit. amavit pugilatum luctamina et cursum et 
10 aucupatus et pila lusit adprime et venatus est. sed ab 
omnibus his intentionibus studium eum philosophiae 
abduxit seriumque et gravem reddidit, lion tamen 
prorsus abolita in eo comitate, quam praecipue suis, 
mox amicis atque etiam minus notis exhibebat, cum 
frugi esset sine contumacia, verecundus sine ignavia, 
sine tristitia gravis. 

V. His ita se habentibus cum post obitum Lucii 
Caesaris Hadrianus successorem imperii quaereret, iiec 
idoneus, utpote decem et octo annos agens, Marcus 
haberetur, amitae Marci virum Antoninum Pium 
Hadrianus ea lege in adoptationem legit ut sibi 
Marcum Pius adoptaret, ita tamen ut et Marcus 

2 sibi Lucium Commodum adoptaret. sane ea die qua 
adoptatus est Verus in somnis se umeros eburneos 
habere vidit sciscitatusque, an apti essent oneri 

3 ferundo, solito repperit fortiores. ubi autem com- 
perit se ab Hadriano adoptatum, magis est deter- 
ritus quam laetatus iussusque in Hadriani privatam 
domum migrare invitus de maternis hortis recessit. 

4 curnque ab eo domestic! quaererent, cur tristis in 
adoptionem regiam transiret, disputavit quae mala in 
se contineret imperium. 

1 Diogeneto P, Peter. 

Hadr., xxiv. 1; AeL, vi. 9; Pius, iv. 5. The state- 
ment that Lucius Verus was adopted by Marcus (so also Ael. t 
v. 12) is erroneous. 



at times, when urged, he let himself be taken to hunts 
or the theatre or the spectacles. Besides, he gave 
some attention to painting, under the teacher 
Diognetus. He was also fond of boxing and wrestling 
and running and fowling, played ball very skilfully, 
and hunted well. But his ardour for philosophy dis- 
tracted him from all these pursuits and made him 
serious and dignified, not ruining, however, a certain 
geniality in him, which he still manifested toward 
his household, his friends, and even to those less in- 
timate, but making him, rather, austere, though not 
unreasonable, modest, though not inactive, and 
serious without gloom. 

V. Such was his character, then, when, after the 1 Jan., ] 
death of Lucius Caesar, Hadrian looked about for a 
successor to the throne. Marcus did not seem suit- 
able, being at the time but eighteen years of age ; 
and Hadrian chose for adoption Antoninus Pius, 
the uncle-in-law of Marcus, with the provision that 
Pius should in turn adopt Marcus and that Marcus 
should adopt Lucius Commodus. 1 And it was on 
the day that Verus 2 was adopted that he dreamed 
that he had shoulders of ivory, and when he asked if 
they were capable of bearing a burden, he found 
them much stronger than before. When he dis- 
covered, moreover, that Hadrian had adopted him, 
he was appalled rather than overjoyed, and when told 
to move to the private home of Hadrian, reluctantly 
departed from his mother's villa. And when the 
members of his household asked him why he was 
sorry to receive royal adoption, he enumerated to 
them the evil things that sovereignty involved. 

* i.e., Marcus. The story of the dream is told also by Dio 
(Ixxi. 36, 1). 



ft Tune primum pro Annio Aurelius coepit vocari, 
quod in Aureliam, hoc est Antonini, adoptionis iure 

6 transisset. octavo decimo ergo aetatis anno adoptatus 
in secundo consulatu Antonini, iam patris sui, Hadri- 
ano ferente gratia aetatis facta quaestor est designatus. 

7 adoptatus in aulicam domum omnibus parentibus suis 

8 tantam reverentiam quantam privatus exhibuit. erat- 
que baud secus rei suae quam in privata domo parcus 
ac diligens, pro institute patris volens agere dicere 

VI. Hadriano Baiis absumpto cum Pius ad advehen- 
das eius reliquias esset profectus, relictus Romae avo 
iusta implevit et gladiatorium quasi privatus quaestor 

2 edidit munus. post excessum Hadriani statim Pius 
per uxorem suam Marcum sciscitatus est et eum l 
dissolutis sponsalibus, quae cum Lucii Ceionii Corn- 
modi . . . 2 desponderi voluerat impari adhuc aetati, 

Shabita deliberatione velle se dixit. his ita gestis 
adhuc quaestorem et consulem secum Pius Marcum 
designavit et Caesaris appellatione donavit et sevirum 

1 et eum P ; utrum A. Jaekel, Klio xii, p. 124, n. 1. 
2 Gas. saw a lacuna after Commodi (cf. Marc., iv. 5, and Ver., 
ii. 3), and supplied : filia contrahere ilium Hadrianus uohierat, 
Faustina illi offeretur, quod Verus, cui earn Hadrianus 
(reading et quum, and esset after aetate) ; Mommsen supplied : 
sorore fecerat filiam Faustinam cum hortata esset ut duceret, 
quam Hadrianus eidem Commodo ; Ellis i, p. 400, et eum, 
diss. spons. L. Ceionii Commodi (i.e. Veri) quae cum filia 
fecerat, quam, ei desponderi uol., etc. ; se*e also Jaekel, loc. cit. 

1 On his name after his adoption see note to Hadr.,xxiv. 2. 


At this time he first began to be called Aurelius 
instead of Annius, 1 since, according to the law of 
adoption, he had passed into the Aurelian family, 
that is, into the family of Antoninus. And so he 
was adopted in his eighteenth year, and at the in- 
stance of Hadrian exception was made for his age ' 2 and 
he was appointed quaestor for the year of the second 139 
consulship of Antoninus, now his father. Even after 
his adoption into the imperial house, he still showed 
the same respect to his own relatives that he had 
borne them as a commoner, was as frugal and care- 
ful of his means as he had been when he lived in 
a private home, and was willing to act, speak, and 
think according to his father's principles. 

VI. When Hadrian died at Baiae 3 and Pius de-10Jul., 
parted to bring back his remains, Marcus was left at 13S 
Rome and discharged his grandfather's funeral rites, 
and, though quaestor, presented a gladiatorial spectacle 
as a private citizen. Immediately after Hadrian's 
death Pius, through his wife, approached Marcus, 
and, breaking his betrothal with the daughter of 
Lucius Ceionius Commodus, 4 ... he was willing to 
espouse one so much his junior in years, he replied, 
after deliberating the question, that he was. And 
when this was done, Pius designated him as his col- 
league in the consulship, though he was still only 140 
quaestor, gave him the title of Caesar, 5 appointed him 
while 'consul-elect on& of the six commanders of the 

2 See Pius, vi. 9-10 and note. 

3 See Hadr., xxv. 6; Pius, v. 1. 

4 See c. iv. 5 and note. 

5 See note to AeL, i. 2. On coins of 139-140 he is called 
Aurelius Caes(ar) Aug(usti) Pii f(ilius) ; see Cohen, ii 2 . p. 409 f., 
Nos. 1-40. 



turmis equitum Romanorum iam consulem designa- 
tura creavit et edenti cum collegis ludos sevirales ad- 
sedit et in Tiberianam domum transgredi iussit et 
aulico fastigio renitentem ornavit et in collegia sacer- 

4 dotum iubente seiiatu recepit. secundum etiam con- 
sulem designavit, cum ipse quartum pariter inierit. 

5 per eadem tempora, cum tantis honoribus occuparetur 
et cum formandus ad regendum statum rei publicae 
patris actibus interesset, studia cupidissime frequen- 

6 Post haec Faustinam duxit uxorem et suscepta 
filia tribunicia potestate donatus est atque im- 
perio extra urbem proconsulari addito iure quintae 

7 relationis. tantumque apud Pium valuit ut l num- 

8 quam quemquam sine eo facile promo verit. erat au- 
tem in summis obsequiis patris Marcus, quamvis non 

9 deessent qui aliqua adversum eum insusurrarent, et 
prae ceteris Valerius Homollus, qui, cum Lucillam 

1 ut P corr., om. by P 1 . 

1 The seviri equitum Romanorum were the six commanders 
of the equestrian order. They received their appointment 
from the emperor, and were usually young men ot senatorial 
families who had not as yet been admitted to the senate and 
sometimes princes of the imperial house, as Marcus, and 
Gaius, grandson of Augustus (Zonaras, x. 35). Marcus had 
also the title of princeps iuventutis or honorary chief of the 
equestrian order (Dio, Ixxi. 35, 5), a title bestowed by the 
acclamation of the order, with the consent or at the command 
of the emperor, upon the heir apparent. 

2 See note to Pius, x. 4. 

3 Especially the four great colleges of which the emperor 
was always a member, i.e., the pontifices, the augures, the 
guindecimviri sacris faciendis or keepers of the Sibylline 
Books, and the septemviri epulonum, and probably also the 
fratres ar vales and the sodales of the various deified emperors 
(see note to Hadr., xxvii. 3). The son of the emperor usually 



equestrian order l and sat by him when he and his 
five colleagues were producing their official games, 
bade him take up his abode in the House of Tiberius 2 
and there provided him with all the pomp of a court, 
though Marcus objected to this, and finally took him 
into the priesthoods a at the. bidding of the senate. 
Later, he appointed him consul for a second term at 145 
the same time that he began his fourth. And all 
this time, when busied with so many public duties of 
his own, and while sharing his father's activities that 
he might be fitted for ruling the state, Marcus worked 
at his studies 4 eagerly. 

At this time he took Faustina to wife 5 and, after 145 
begetting a daughter, 6 received the tribunician power 
and the proconsular power outside the city, 7 with the 
added right of making five proposals in the senate. 8 
Such was his influence with Pius that the Emperor 
was never quick to promote anyone without his advice. 
Moreover, he showed great deference to his father, 
though there were not lacking those who whispered 
things against him, especially Valerius Homullus, 9 

became a member of these colleges when he received the 
name Caesar. 

4 Especially in rhetoric and literature ; see Fronto, p. 36. 

5 See Pius, x. 2. Coins struck in honour of the occasion 
bear the heads of Marcus and Faustina on the obverse and 
reverse respectively; see Cohen, ii 2 . p. 127, Nos. 3-4. 

6 Annia Galeria Aurelia- Faustina, born in 146, was the 
eldest of Marcus' children. 

7 See note to Pius, iv. 7. 

8 The newly-elected emperor was regularly empowered by 
senatus consultum to propose a definite number of measures 
in each meeting of the senate, these proposals to take pre- 
cedence over any others. The number varied but never seems 
to have exceeded five ; see Pert.,v. 6 ; Alex., i. 3 ; Prob., xii. 8. 

9 Cf. Pius, xi. 8. 



matrem Marci in viridiario venerantem simulacrum 

Apollinis vidisset, insusurravit, " ilia nunc rogat, ut 

diem tuum claudas et films imperet ". quod omnino 

lOapud Pium nihil valuit ; tanta erat Marci probitas et 

VIl.tanta in imperatorio participatu 1 modestia. existi- 

mationis autern tantam curam habuit ut et procura- 

tores suos puer semper moneret, ne quid arrogantius 

facerent, et heredidates delatas reddens proximis 

2aliquando respuerit. denique per viginti et tres 

annos in domo patris ita versatus ut eius cotidie amor 

3 cresceret, nee praeter duas noctes per tot annosabeo 
mansit diversis vicibus. 

Ob hoc Antoninus Pius, cum sibi adesse finem 
vitae videret, vocatis amicis et praefectis ut succes- 
sorem eum imperii omnibus commendavit atque 
firmavit statimque signo aequanimitatis tribuno dato 
Fortunam auream, quae in cubiculo solebat esse, ad 

4 Marci cubiculum transire iussit. bonorum mater- 
norum partern Ummidio 2 Quadrato, sororis filio, quia 
ilia iam mortua erat, tradidit. 

5 Post excessum divi Pii a senatu coactus regimen 
publicum capere fratrem sibi participem iri imperio 
designavit, quern Lucium Aurelium Verum Com- 
inodum appellavit Caesaremque atque Augustum 

1 participatum P ; priticipatu Peter, following B princi- 
patum. 2 Ummidio Borghesi ; Mummio P, Peter. 

^f. Pius, xii. 5-6. 

2 M. Ummidius Quadratus, consul 167, was the son of 
Annia Oornificia Faustina (c. i. 8, and iv. 7). 



who, when he saw Marcus' mother Lucilla worshipping 
in her garden before a shrine of Apollo, whispered, 
" Yonder woman is now praying that you may come 
to your end, and her son rule". All of which 
influenced Pius not in the least, such was Marcus' 
sense of honour and such his modesty while heir 
to the throne. VII. He had such regard for his 
reputation, moreover, that even as a youth he admon- 
ished his procurators to do nothing high-handed and 
often refused sundry legacies that were left him, re- 
turning them to the nearest kin of the deceased. 
Finally, for three and twenty years he conducted 
himself in his father's home in such a manner that 
Pius felt more affection for him day by day, and never 
in all these years, save for two nights on different 
occasions, remained away from him. 

For these reasons, then, when Antoninus Pius saw 
that the end of his life was drawing near, having 
summoned his friends and prefects, he commended 
Marcus to them all and formally named him as his 
successor in the empire. He then straightway gave 
the watch-word to the officer of the day as " Equa- 
nimity," and ordered that the golden statue of For- 
tune, customarily kept in his own bed-chamber, 
be transferred to the bed-chamber of Marcus. 1 Part 
of his mother's fortune Marcus then gave to Ummidius 
Quadratus, 2 the son of his sister, because the latter 
was now dead. 

Being forced by the senate to assume the govern- 7 Mar. , 16 
ment of the state after the death of the Deified Pius, 
Marcus made his brother his colleague in the empire, 
giving him the name Lucius Aurelius Verus Corn- 
modus and bestowing on him the titles Caesar and 
Augustus. Then they began to rule the state on 



Sdixit. atque ex eo pariter coeperunt rem publicam 
regere tuncque primum Romanum imperium duos 
Augustos habere coepit, cum imperium sibi relictum l 
cum alio participasset. Antonini mox ipse nomen 

Trecepit. et quasi pater Lucii Commodi esset, et 
Verum eum appellavit addito Antonini nomine filiam- 

8que suam Lucillam fratri despondit. ob hanc con- 
iunctionem pueros et puellas novorum nominum 

9 frumentariae perceptioni adscribi praeceperunt. actis 

igitur quae agenda fuerant in senatu pariter castra 

praetoria petiverunt et vicena milia nummum singulis 

ob participatum imperium militibus promiserunt et 

lOceteris pro rata. Hadriani autem sepulchre corpus 

patris intulerunt magnifico exsequiarum officio. mox 

iustitio secuto publice quoque funeris expeditus est 

11 ordo. et laudavere uterque pro rostris patrem 

flaminemque ei ex adfinibus et sodales ex amicissimis 

Aurelianos creavere. 

VIII. Adepti imperium ita civiliter se ambo egerunt 

ut lenitatem Pii nemo desideraret, cum eos Marullus, 

sui temporis mimographus, cavillando impune per- 

2.3 stringeret. funebre munus patri dederunt. 2 dabat 

1 So Mommsen ; habere coepit lictum P ; habere coepit 
. . . lictum {lictum cum alio participasset perhaps a fragment 
of a marginal comment) Peter. 2 This sentence Peter re- 

moved, as introduced from the margin of vii. 10. 

1 Coins of 161 and 162 show Marcus and Lucius standing 
with clasped hands and bear the legend Concord(ia) 
Augustor(um) ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 8, Nos. 45-59. 

2 Annia Lucilla, his third child, born about 148. 

3 Like the puellae aliment art ae Faustinianae , founded by 
Pius; see Pius, viii. 1. 

4 i.e., the centurions and other officers. Largess was also 
given to the populace ; see coins of 161 with legend Lib(eralitas) 



equal terms, 1 and then it was that the Roman Empire 
first had two emperors, when Marcus shared with 
another the empire he had inherited. Next, he him- 
self took the name Antoninus, and just as though he 
were the father of Lucius Commodus, he gave him the 
name Verus, adding also the name Antoninus ; he also 
betrothed him to his daughter Lucilla, 2 though legally 
he was his brother. In honour of this union they 
gave orders that girls and boys of newly-named orders 3 
should be assigned a share in the distribution of grain. 

And so, when they had done those things which 
had to be done in the presence of the senate, they 
set out together for the praetorian camp, and in 
honour of their joint rule promised twenty thousand 
sesterces apiece to the common soldiers and to the 
others 4 money in proportion. The body of their 
father they laid in the Tomb of Hadrian 5 with ela- 
borate funeral rites, and on a holiday which came 
thereafter an official funeral train marched in parade. 
Both emperors pronounced panegyrics for their father 
from the Rostra, and they appointed a flamen for him 
chosen from their own kinsmen and a college of 
Aurelian priests from their closest friends. 

VIII. And now, after they had assumed the im- 
perial power, the two emperors acted in so democratic 
a manner that no one missed the lenient ways of Pius ; 
for though Marullus, a writer of farces of the time, 
irritated them by his jests, he yet went unpunished. 
They gave funeral games for their father. And 

Augustor(um) and representation of the two emperors stand- 
ing in front of a recipient (Cohen, iii 2 , p. 41, Nos. 401-406). 

8 See Hadr., xix. 11. 

6 i.e., the Sodales Antoniniani ; see Pius, xiii. 4, and note 
to Hadr., xxvii. 3. 



se Marcus totum et philosophiae, amorem civium ad- 

4 fectans. sed interpellavit istam felicitatem securita- 
temque imperatoris prima Tiberis inundatio, quae sub 
illis gravissima fuit. quae res et multa urbis aedificia 
vexavit et plurimum animalium interemit et famem 

5 gravissimam peperit. quae omnia mala Marcus et 
6Verus sua cura et praesentia temperarunt. fuit eo 

tempore etiam Parthicum bellum, quod Vologaesus 

paratum sub Pio Marci et Veri tempore indixit, fugato 

Attidio Corneliano, qui Syriam tune administrabat. 

7imminebat etiam Britannicum bellum, et Chatti in 

8 Germaniam ac Raetiam inruperant. et adversus Bri- 

tannos quidem Calpurnius Agricola missus est, contra 

9Chattos Aufidius Victoriiius. ad Parthicum vero 

bellum senatu consentiente Verus frater est missus ; 

ipse Romae remansit, quod res urbanae imperatoris 

10 praesentiam postularent. et Verum quidem Marcus 
Capuam usque prosecutus amicis comitantibus a senatu 

11 ornavit additis officiorum omnium principibus. sed 
cum Romam redisset Marcus cognovissetque Verum 
apud Canusium aegrotare, ad eum videndum con- 
tendit susceptis in senatu votis ; quae, posteaquam 

1 Cf. the coins of 161 with the legend Fel(icitas) Temp(ornm) 
(Cohen, iii 2 , p. 21, Nos. 196-198). 

2 See Pius, ix. 6 and note. 

3 This war, called officially bellum Armeniacum et Parthi- 
cum, arose, as was usually the case with wars between the 
Romans and the Parthian s, in a struggle for the control of 
the buffer-state Armenia. After defeating Aelius Severianus, 
the governor of Cappadocia, at Elegcia, on the uprer Eu- 
phrates, and annihilating his legion (Dio, Ixxi. 2; Fronto, 
Prin. Hist., p. 209), the Parthians established their candidate 
on the Armenian throne. Then followed the defeat of Cor- 
nelianus in 161. 

4 E. of the Rhine, N. and E. of the Taunus Mountains, 



Marcus abandoned himself to philosophy, at the same 
time cultivating the good-will of the citizens. But 
now to interrupt the emperor's happiness l and repose, 
there came the first flood of the Tiber the severest 
of their time which ruined many houses in the city, 
drowned a great number of animals, and caused a 
most severe famine ; all these disasters Marcus and 
Verus relieved by their own personal care and aid. 
At this time, moreover, came the Parthian war, which 161 
Vologaesus planned under Pius 2 and declared under 
Marcus and Verus, after the rout of Attidius Cornel- 
ianus, then governor of Syria. 3 And besides this, 162 
war was threatening in Britain, and the Chatti 4 had 
burst into Germany and Raetia. Against the Britons 
Calpurnius Agricola 5 was sent ; against the Chatti, 
Aufidius Victorinus. 6 But to the Parthian war, with 
the consent of the senate, Marcus despatched his 
brother Verus, while he himself remained at Rome, 
where conditions demanded the presence of an em- 
peror. Nevertheless, he accompanied Verus as far as 
Capua, 7 honouring him with a retinue of friends from 
the senate and appointing also all his chiefs-of-staff. 
And when, after returning to Rome, he learned that 
Verus was ill at Canusium, 8 he hastened to see him, 
after assuming vows in the senate, which, on his re- 

5 Mentioned in British inscriptions as governor (legatus 
Augusti pro prof tore) of the province of Britain. He after- 
wards held a command in the Marcomannic War. 

6 See c. iii. 8. 

7 Verus' departure took place in the spring of 162. It was 
commemorated by coins of Verus with the legends Profectio 
Aug(usti) and Fort(una) Eed(ux) ; see Cohen, iii 8 , p. 183 f., 
Nos. 132-141, and p. 180 f., Nos. 86-102. 

8 In Apulia, modern Canosa. On Verus' illness see Ver., 
vi. 7. 



Romam rediit audita Veri transmissione, statim red- 

12 didit. et Verus quidem, posteaquam in Syriam venit, 
in deliciis apud Antiochiam et Daphnen vixit armisque 
se gladiatoriis et venatibus exercuit, cum per legates 
bellum Parthicum gerens imperator app?llatus esset, 

13 cum Marcus horis omnibus rei publicae actibus in- 
cubaret patieiiterque delicias fratris sed perinvitus ac 

14 nolens l ferret, denique omnia quae ad bellum erant 
necessaria Romae positus et disposuit Marcus et 

IX. Gestae sunt res in Armenia prospere per Sta- 
tium Priscum Artaxatis captis, delatumque Armenia - 
cum nomen utrique principum. quod Marcus per vere- 

2 cundiam primo recusavit, postea tamen recepit. pro- 
fligato autem bello uterque Parthicus appellatus est. 
sed hoc 2 quoque Marcus delatum nomen repudiavit, 

3 quod postea recepit. patris patriae autem nomen 
delatum fratre absente in eiusdem praesentiam 

1 Suggested by Peter in note ; et prope inuitus ac nolens 
(nolens P corr.) P, Peter; et pi ope non inuitus ac nolens 
Novak. 2 hoc P corr., om. by P 1 . 

1 See also Ver., vi. 8-vii. 1. 

2 After the capture of Artaxata by Statius Priscus; see c. 
ix. 1. 

3 The title Arme.niacus appears on Verus' coins of 163, to- 
gether with the representation of conquered Armenia ; see 
Cohen, iii 2 , p. 172, Nos. 4-6, and p. 203, Nos. 330-331. 
Marcus' coins, on the other hand, do not show it until 164; 
see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 5, Nos. 5-8; p. 48, Nos. 466-471, etc. The 
capture of Artaxata enabled Rome to make her candidate, 
Soaemus (Fronto, p. 127), king of Armenia; this event was 
commemorated by coins of 164 with the legend Rex Armeniis 
Datus ; see Ver., vii. 8, and Cohen, iii 2 , p. 185 f., Nos. 157-165. 

4 By the capture of Seleucia and Ctesiphon in 165 ; see 
Ver., viii. 3, and Dio, Ixxi. 2, 3. The title Parthicus Maxi~ 



turn to Rome after learning that Verus had set sail, 
he immediately fulfilled. Verus, however, after he 
had come to Syria, lingered amid the debaucheries 
of Antioch and Daphne and busied himself with 
gladiatorial bouts and hunting. 1 And yet, for waging 
the Parthian war through his legates, he was acclaimed 
Imperator, 2 while meantime Marcus was at all hours 
keeping watch over the workings of the state, and, 
though reluctantly and sorely against his will, but 
nevertheless with patience, was -enduring the de- 
bauchery of his brother. In a word, Marcus, though 
residing at Rome, planned and executed everything 
necessary to the prosecution of the war. 

IX. In Armenia the campaign was successfully 163 
prosecuted under Statius Priscus, Artaxata being 
taken, and the honorary name Armeniacus was given 
to each of the emperors. 3 This name Marcus refused 
at first, by reason of his modesty, but afterwards ac- 
cepted. When the Parthian war was finished, 4 more- 
over, each emperor was called Parthicus ; but this 
name also Marcus refused when first offered, though 
afterwards he accepted it. And further, when the 
title " Father of his Country " was offered him in his 
brother's absence, he deferred action upon it until 
the latter should be present. 5 In the midst of this 164 
war he entrusted his daughter, 6 who was about to be 
married and had already received her dowry, to the 
care of his sister, and, accompanying them himself as 
far as Brundisium, sent them to Verus together with 

mus appears on Verus' coins of 165 (Cohen, iii 2 , p. 188 f., Nos. 
190-196), and on Marcus' coins of 166 (Cohen, iii 2 , p. 86 f., 
Nos. 877-880). 

8 It was finally taken by both Marcus and Lucius after the 
retnru of the latter in the summer of 166 ; see c. xii. 7. 

6 Lucilla; see c. vii. 7, and Ver., vii. 7. 



4distulit. medio belli tempore et Civicam, patruum 
Veri, et filiam suam nupturam commissam sorori suae 
eandemque locupletatam Brundisium usque deduxit, 

5 ad eum misit Romamque statim rediit, revocatus eorum 
sermonibus qui dicebant Marcum velle finiti belli 
gloriam sibimet vindicare atque idcirco in Syriam 

6proficisci. ad proconsulem scribit, ne quis filiae suae 
iter facienti occurieret. 

7 Inter haec liberates causas ita munivit ut primus iu- 
beret apud praefectos aerarii Saturni imumquemque 
civium natos liberos profiteri intra tricensimum diem 

8 nomine imposito. per provincias tabulariorum publi- 
corum usum instituit, apud quos idem de originibus 
fieret quod Romae apud praefectos aerarii, ut, si forte 
aliquis in provincia natus causam liberalem diceret, 

9testationes inde ferret, atque hanc totam legem de 
adsertionibus firmavit aliasque de mensariis et auctioni- 
bus tulit. 

X. Senatum multis cognitionibus et maxime ad se 
pertinentibus iudicem dedit. de statu etiam de- 

2 functorum intra quinquennium quaeri iussit. 1 neque 
quisquam principum amplius senatui detulit. in 
senatus autem honorificentiam multis praetoriis et 
consularibus privatis decidenda negotia delegavit, 

J This sentence Peter 1 , following Dirksen, transposed to 
precede senatum . . . dedit. 

1 M. Ceionius Civica Barbarus, consul 157, a brother of L. 
Aelius Caesar. 

2 i.e., of Asia. Verus met her at Ephesus ; Ver., vii. 7. 

3 The officials in charge of the public treasury, kept in the 
Temple of Saturn. 



the latter's uncle, Civica. 1 Immediately thereafter 
he returned to Rome, recalled by the talk of those 
who said that he wished to appropriate to himself the 
glory of finishing the war and had therefore set out 
for Syria. He wrote to the proconsul, 2 furthermore, 
that no one should meet his daughter as she made 
her journey. 

In the meantime, he put such safeguards about 
suits for personal freedom and he was the first to 
do so as to order that every citizen should bestow 
names upon his free-born children within thirty 
days after birth and declare them to the prefects of 
the treasury of Saturn. 3 In the provinces, too, he 
established the use of public records, in which entries 
concerning births were to be made in the same 
manner as at Rome in the office of the prefects of the 
treasury, the purpose being that if any one born in 
the provinces should plead a case to prove freedom, 
he might submit evidence from these records. In- 
deed, he strengthened this entire law dealing with 
declarations of freedom, 4 and he enacted other laws 
dealing with money-lenders and public sales. 

X. He made the senate the judge in many in- 
quiries and even in those which belonged to his own 
jurisdiction. With regard to the status of deceased 
persons, he ordered that any investigations must be 
made within five years. 5 Nor did any of the emperors 
show more respect to- the senate than he. To do the 
senate honour, moreover, he entrusted the settling of 

4 e.g., see. c. x. 1. 

5 This principle was already in existence ; Marcus limited 
it by the order that in case any person bad been formally de- 
clared free-born, any investigation leading to a revision of 
this declaration could be made only during his life-time ; see 
Dig., xl. 15, 1. 



quo magis eorum cum exercitio iuris auctoritas cres- 

Sceret. raultos ex amicis in senatum adlegit cum 

4aediliciis aut praetoriis dignitatibus. multis senatori- 

bus verum 1 pauperibus sine crimine dignitates tri- 

5 bunicias aediliciasque concessit. nee quemquam in 

6ordinem legit, nisi quern ipse bene scisset. hoc 

quoque senatoribus detulit ut, quotiens de quorum 

capite esset iudicandum, secreto pertractaret atque ita 

in publicum proderet 2 nee pateretur equites Romanes 

7talibus interesse causis. semper autem, cum potuit, 

interfuit senatui, etiamsi nihil esset referendum, si 

Romae fuit ; si vero aliquid referre voluit, etiam de 

8 Campania ipse venit. comitiis praeterea etiam usque 
ad noctem frequenter interfuit neque umquam recessit 

9 de curia nisi consul dixisset " nihil vos moramur 
patres conscripti ". senatum appellationibus a con- 
sule factis iudicem dedit. 

10 Judiciariae rei singularem diligentiam adhibuit. 
fastis dies iudiciarios addidit, ita ut ducentos triginta 
dies annuos rebus agendis litibusque disceptandis con- 

11 stitueret. praetorem tutelarem primus fecit, cum 
ante tutores a consulibus poscerentur, ut diligentius 

12 de tutoribus tractaretur. de curatoribus vero, cum 
ante non nisi ex lege Plaetoria 3 vel propter lasciviam 

1 So Novak; senatibus uel pauperibus s. c. senatoribus P; 
equitibus uel pauperibus . . . senatoribus Peter 2 , incorrectly (cf. 
Mommsen, HSt. II 3 , p. 94!. 2). *prodiret P. 3 Plaetoria 
Jordan (cf. Savigny, Opp. Misc. II, 330) ; Laetoria P, Peter. 

1 See Hadr., vii. 4 and note. 

2 This office was instituted before Verus' death in 169. 
The first holder was Arrius Antoninus, who is described in an 
inscription as praetor cuiprimo iurisdictio pupillaris a sanc- 
tissimisimp(eratoribus)mandataest(C.I.L., v. 1874 = Dessau, 
Ins. Sel., 1118). 



disputes to many men of praetorian and consular 
rank who then held no magistracy, in order that their 
prestige might be enhanced through their adminis- 
tration of law. He enrolled in the senate many of 
his friends, giving them the rank of aedile or praetor ; 
and on a number of poor but honest senators he be- 
stowed the rank of tribune or aedile. Nor did he 
ever appoint anyone to senatorial rank whom he did 
not know well personally. He granted senators the 
further privilege * that whenever any of them was to 
be tried on a capital charge, he would examine the evi- 
dence behind closed doors and only after so doing 
would bring the case to public trial ; nor would he allow 
members of the equestrian order to attend such investi- 
gations. He always attended the meetings of the 
senate if he was in Rome, even though no measure was 
to be proposed, and if he wished to propose anything 
himself, he came in person even from Campania. More 
than this, when elections were held he often remained 
even until night, never leaving the senate-chamber 
until the consul announced, " We detain you no 
longer, Conscript Fathers ". Further, he appointed 
the senate judge in appeals made from the consul. 

To the administration of justice he gave singular 
care. He added court-days to the calendar until he 
had set 230 days for the pleading of cases and judg- 
ing of suits, and he was the first to appoint a special 
praetor in charge of the property of wards, 2 in order 
that greater care might be exercised in dealing with 
trustees ; for previously the appointment of trustees 
had been in the hands of the consuls. As regards 
guardians, indeed, he decided that all youths might 
have them appointed without being obliged to show 
cause therefor, whereas previously they were ap- 



vel propter dementiam darentur, ita statuit ut omnes 
adulti curatores acciperent 11011 redditis causis. 

XI. Cavit et sumptibus publicis et calumniis quad- 
ruplatorum intercessit adposita falsis delatoribus nota. 

2delationes, quibus fiscus augeretur, contempsit. de 
alimentis publicis multa prudenter invenit. curatores 
multis civitatibus, quo latius seiiatorias tenderet dig- 

Snitates, a senatu dedit. Italicis civitatibus famis 
ternpore frumentum ex urbe donavit omnique frum- 

4 entariae rei consuluit. gladiatoria spectacula omni- 
fariam temperavit. temperavit etiam scaenicas dona- 
tiones iubens ut quinos aureos scaenici acciperent, 
ita tamen ut nullus editor decem aureos egrederetur. 

5 vias l etiam urbis atque itinera 2 diligeritissime curavit. 
rei frumentariae graviter providit. 

6 Datis iuridicis Italiae consuluit ad id exemplum 
quo Hadrianus consulares viros reddere iura praecep- 

7 erat. Hispanis exhaustis 3 Italica adlectione contra 

8 Traiani quoque 4 praecepta verecunde consuluit. leges 

1 uineas P 1 ; aV uias P corr. 2 itinera Jordan, Novak ; 

itinerum P, Peter. 3 exhausit P. 4 Thus Ellis; contra 
tranique p. P 1 ; Traianique P corr. ; contra iniqua p. Pet- 
schenig ; Peter assumes a lacuna after contra. 

1 The Lex Plaetoria de circumwiptione minorum annis 
XXV was passed prior to 191 B.C. ; it is mentioned in PJautus, 
Pseud., 303. It aimed to protect persons under 25 from fraud, 
and it accordingly directed that such persons should apply to 
the praetor for guardians. 

2 The Twelve Tables provided that the prodigus and the 
furiosus should not administer their own property but be 
under guardians ; see Dig., xxvii. 10, 1, and Cic., de Inv. t ii. 
50, 148. 

3 See note to Hadr., vii. 8. 

4 These officials were appointed by the emperor to admini- 



pointed only under the Plaetorian Law, 1 or in cases 
of prodigality or madness. 2 

XI. In the matter of public expenditures he was 
exceedingly careful, and he forbade all libels on the 
part of false informers, putting the mark of infamy 
on such as made false accusations. He scorned such 
accusations as would swell the privy-purse. He de- 
vised many wise measures for the support of the 
state-poor, 3 and, that he might give a wider range to 
the senatorial functions, he appointed supervisors for 
many communities 4 from the senate. In times of 
famine he furnished the Italian communities with 
food from the city ; indeed, he made careful pro- 
vision for the whole matter of the grain-supply. He 
limited gladiatorial shows in every way, and lessened 
the cost of free theatrical performances also, decree- 
ing that though an actor might receive five aurei, 
nevertheless no one who gave a performance should 
expend more than ten. The streets of the city 
and the highways he maintained with the greatest 
care. As for the grain-supply, for that he pro- 
vided laboriously. He appointed judges for Italy 
and thereby provided for its welfare, after the 
plan of Hadrian, 5 who had appointed men of 
consular rank to administer the law ; and he made 
scrupulous provision furthermore, for the welfare 
of the provinces o,f Spain, which, in defiance 
of the policy of Trajan, had been exhausted by 

ster the finances of communities in cases where mismanage- 
ment of the public funds had made such a measure necessary. 
b See Hadr., xxii. 13; Pius, ii. 11. The arrangement 
seems to have been given up by Pius ; see Appian, Bell. Civ., 
i. 38. Under Marcus ex-praetors were appointed to this office ; 
see C.I.L., v. 1874 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 1118. 



etiam addidit de vicensima hereditatum, de tutelis 
libertorum, de bonis maternis et item de filiorum suc- 
cessionibus pro parte materim, utque senatores pere- 
Qgrini quartam partem in Italia possiderent. dedit 
praeterea curatoribus regionum ac viarum potestatem, 
ut vel pimirent vel ad praefectum urbi puniendos re- 
mitterent eos qui ultra vectigalia quicquam ab aliquo 
10 exegissent. ius autem raagis vetus restituit quam 
novum fecit, habuit secum praefectos, quorum et 
auctoritate et periculo semper iura dictavit. usus 
autem est Scaevola praecipue iuris peri to. 

XII. Cum populo autem noil aliter egit quam est 

2 actum sub civitate libera. fuitque per omnia moder- 
antissimus in hominibus deterrendis a malo, invitandis 
ad bona, remunerandis copia, indulgentia liberandis 
fecitque ex malis bonos, ex bonis optimos, moderate 

3 etiam cavillationes nonnullorum ferens. nam cum 
quendam Vetrasinum famae detestandae honorem 
petentem moneret, ut se ab opinionibus populi vindi- 
caret, et ille contra respondisset multos, qui secum 
in arena pugnassent, se praetores videre, patienter 

4 tulit. ac ne in quemquam facile vindicaret, praetorem, 

1 Of. Hadr., xii. 4. 

2 The 5 / tax on inheritances had been instituted by 
Augustus. Under Caracalla it was temporarily raised to 10 / . 

3 This was the Senatus Consultum Orfitianum of 178; see 
Dig., xxxviii. 17. 

4 Trajan had already ordered that candidates for public 
office must invest a third of their capital in Italian land ; see 
Plin., Epist., vi. 19. 

5 This marks the beginning of the change in the functions 
of the prefect of the guard from purely military to pre- 
eminently judicial. Under Severus and Alexander the office 



levies from the Italian settlers. 1 Also he enacted 
laws about inheritance-taxes, 2 about the property of 
freedmen held in trust, about property inherited from 
the mother, 3 about the succession of the sons to the 
mother's share, and likewise that senators of foreign 
birth should invest a fourth part of their capital in 
Italy. 4 And besides this, he gave the commissioners 
of districts and streets power either themselves to 
punish those who fleeced anyone of money beyond 
his due assessment, or to bring them to the prefect of 
the city for punishment. He engaged rather in the 
restoration of old laws than in the making of new, and 
ever kept near him prefects with whose authority and 
responsibility he framed his laws. 5 He made use of 
Scaevola also, 6 a man particularly learned in juris- 

XII. Toward the people he acted just as one 
acts in a free state. He was at all times exceed- 
ingly reasonable both in restraining men from evil 
and in urging them to good, generous in reward- 
ing and quick to forgive, thus making bad men good, 
and good men very good, and he even bore with 
unruffled temper the insolence of not a few. For 
example, when he advised a man of abominable 
reputation, who was running for office, a certain 
Vetrasinus, to stop the town-talk about himself, and 
Vetrasinus replied that many who had fought with 
him in the arena were now praetors, the Emperor took 
it with good grace. Again, in order to avoid taking 
an easy revenge on any one, instead of ordering a 

was held by the foremost jurists of Borne, Papinian, Ulpian, 
and Paullus. 

6 As a member of his consilium (see Hadr., viii. 9) ; Q. 
Cervidius Scaevola is often cited in the Digcsta. 



qui quaedam pessime egerat, non abdicare se praetura 

5 iussit, sed collegae iuris dictionem mandavit. fisco 

6 in causis compendii iiumquam iudicans favit. sane, 
quamvis esset constans, erat etiam verecundus. 

7 Posteaquam autem e Syria victor red i it frater, patris 
patriae nomen ambobus decretum est, cum se Marcus 
absente Vero erga omnes senatores atque homines 

8 moderatissime gessisset. corona praeterea civica ob- 
lata est ambobus ; petiitque Lucius ut secum Marcus 
triumpharet. petiit praeterea Lucius ut filii Marci 

9 Caesares appellarentur. sed Marcus tanta fuit 
moderatione ut, cum l simul triumphasset, tamen 
post mortem Lucii tantum Germanicum se vocaret, 

10 quod sibi bello proprio pepererat. in triumpho autem 
liberos Marci utriusque sexus secum vexerunt, ita 

11 tamen ut et puellas virghies veherent. ludos etiam 
ob triumphum decretos spectaverunt habitu trium- 

12 phali. inter cetera pietatis eius haec quoque moderatio 
praedicanda est : funambulis post puerum lapsum 
culcitas subici iussit. unde hodieque rete 2 praeten- 

13 Dum Parthicum bellum geritur, natum est Mar- 
comannicum, quod diu eorum qui aderant arte 
suspensum est, ut finite iam Orientali bello Marco- 

1 cum om. in P. 2 recte P 1 ; aV rete P corr. 

1 See c. ix. 3 and note. 

2 Of oak leaves, presented to a man who had saved the life 
of a fellow-citizen in battle. 

3 M. Aurelius Commodus (b. 161), and M. Annius Verus 
(b. 162-3). The ceremony took place on 12 October, 166 ; see 
Cow., i. 10; xi. 13. Their effigies appear on coins (Cohen, 
iii 2 , p. 169 f.). 

4 This title appears for the first time in inscriptions of 172 ; 



praetor who had acted very badly in certain matters 
to resign his office, he merely entrusted the ad- 
ministration of the law to the man's colleague. 
The privy-purse never influenced his judgment in 
law-suits involving money. Finally, if he was firm, 
he was also reasonable. 

After his brother had returned victorious from 166 
Syria, the title " Father of his Country ' was de- 
creed to both, 1 inasmuch as Marcus in the absence of 
Verus had conducted himself with great consideration 
toward both senators and commons. Furthermore, 
the civic crown 2 was offered to both; and Lucius 
demanded that Marcus triumph with him, and de- 
manded also that the name Caesar should be given to 
Marcus' sons. 3 But Marcus was so free from love of 
display that though he triumphed with Lucius, 
nevertheless after Lucius' death he called himself 
only Germanicus, 4 the title he had won in his own 
war. In the triumphal procession, moreover, they ice 
carried with them Marcus' children of both sexes, 
even his unmarried daughters ; and they viewed the 
games held in honour of the triumph clad in the 
triumphal robe. Among other illustrations of his 
unfailing consideration towards others this act of 
kindness is to be told : After one lad, a rope-dancer, 
had fallen, he ordered mattresses spread under all 
rope-dancers. This is the reason why a net is 
stretched under them to-day. 

While the Parthian war was still in progress, the 166 
Marcomannic war broke out, after having been post- 
poned for a long time by the diplomacy of the men 
who were in charge there, in order that the Marco- 

the probable date of its assumption was 15 October ; see Com., 
xi. 13, and cf. Dio, Ixxi. 3, 5. 



14 mannicumagi posset, et cum famis tempore populo 
insinuasset de bello, fratre post quinquennium reverse 
in senatu egit, ambos necessaries dicens bello 
XlII.Germanico imperatores. tantus autem terror belli 
Marcomannici fuit l ut undique sacerdotes Antoninus 
acciverit, peregrinos ritus impleverit, Romam omni 
genere lustra verit retardatusque a 2 bellica profectione 

2 sit. celebravit et Romano ritu lectisternia per septem 

3 dies, tanta autem pestilentia fuit ut vehiculis cadavera 
4sint exportata sarracisque. tune autem Antonini 

leges sepeliendi sepulchrorumque asperrimas sanxe- 
runt, quando quidem caverunt ne quis villae ad- 
fabricaretur 3 sepulchrum, quod hodieque servatur. 

5et multa quidem milia pestilentia consumpsit multos- 
que ex proceribus, quorum amplissimis Antoninus 

6statuas conlocavit. tantaque dementia fuit ut et 
sumptu publico vulgaria funera iuberet efferri 4 et vano 
cuidam, qui diripiendae urbis occasionem cum quibus- 
dam consciis requirens de caprifici arbore in Campo 
Martio contionabundus ignem de caelo lapsurum 

l fuit P corr., om. by P 1 . 2 a om. in P. 3 Thus Mad- 
vig and Petschenig ; uelle abfricaretur P ; ne quis ubi uellet 
fabricaretur s. Novak. 4 efferi Jordan ; et eo ferri P l ; ferri 
et eo ferri P 1 corr. 

Called officially bellum Germanicum- see C.I.L., vi. 
1549 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 1100. 

2 The Marcomanni and Quadi actually invaded I aly and 
laid siege to Aquileia ; see Amm. Marc., xxix. 6, 1. Furius 
Victorinus, the prefect of the guard, who was sent to resist 
them, was killed and a portion of his army annihilated ; see 
c. xiv. 5. 

3 A very, ancient purificatory ceremony, in which statues of 
the gods were placed on banqueting-couches in some public 
place and served with an offering on a table. According to 
tradition it was first celebrated in 399 B.C. in order to stay a 
plague ; see Livy, v. 13, 5-6. 



mannic war 1 might not be waged until Rome was 
done with the war in the East. Even at the time of 
the famine the Emperor had hinted at this war to. the 
people, and when his brother returned after five 
years' service, he brought the matter up in the 
senate, saying that both emperors were needed 
for the German war. XIII. So great was the dread 
of this Marcomannic war, 2 that Antoninus sum- 
moned priests from all sides, performed foreign re- 
ligious ceremonies, and purified the city in every 
way, and he was delayed thereby from setting out 
to the seat of war. The Roman ceremony of the 
feast of the gods 3 was celebrated for seven days. 
And there was such a pestilence, 4 besides, that the 
dead were removed in carts and waggons. About 
this time, also, the two emperors ratified certain very 
stringent laws on burial and tombs, in which they 
even forbade any one to build a tomb at his country- 
place, a law still in force. Thousands were carried 
off by the pestilence, including many nobles, for the 
most prominent of whom Antoninus erected statues. 
Such, too, was his kindliness of heart that he had 
funeral ceremonies performed for the lower classes 
even at the public expense ; and in the case of one 
foolish fellow, who, in a search with divers confeder- 
ates for an opportunity to plunder the city, continu- 
ally made speeches from the wild fig-tree on the 
Campus Martius, to the effect that fire would fall 

4 It was supposed to have been brought from the East by 
the returning army of Verus (see Ver., viii. 1-2), and it 
ravaged Europe as far as the Rhine ; see Amm. Marc., xxiii. 
6, 24. It was still raging in 180 (see c. xxviii. 4, and C.I.L., 
iii. 5567 of 182), and it seems to have broken out again with 
great violence under Commodus ; see Dio, Ixxii. 14, 3; 
Herodian, i. 12, 1-2. 



finemque mundi affore diceret, si ipse lapsus ex 
arbore in ciconiam verteretur, cum statute tempore 
decidisset atque ex sinu ciconiam emisisset, perducto 
ad se atque confesso veniam daret. 

XIV. Profecti tamen sunt paludati ambo impera- 
tores et Victualis et Marcomannis cuncta turbantibus, 
aliis etiam gentibus, quae pulsae a superioribus bar- 
baris fugerant, nisi reciperentur, bellum inferentibus. 

2 nee parum profuit ista profectio, cum Aquileiam usque 
venissent. nam plerique reges et cum populis suis 
se retraxerunt et tumultus auctores interemerunt. 

3 Quadi autem amisso rege suo non prius se confirma- 
turos eum qui erat creatus clicebant, quam id nostris 

4placuisset imperatoribus. Lucius tamen in vit us pro- 
fectus est, cum plerique ad legates imperatorum 

5 mitterent defectionis veniam postulantes. et Lucius 
quidem, quod amissus esset praefectus praetorio 
Furius Victorinus, atque l pars exercitus interisset, 
redeundum esse censebat ; Marcus autem fingere 
barbaros aestimans et fugam et cetera quae securitatem 
bellicam ostenderent, ob hoc ne tanti apparatus mole 

6 premerentur, instandum esse ducebat. deiiique 
transcensis Alpibus longius processerunt composue- 
runtque omnia, quae ad munimen Italiae atque Illyrici 
pertinebant. placuit autem urgente Lucio, ut prae- 

1 utque P. 

J See note to c. xiii. 1. 

3 The war in Pannonia was prosecuted successfully, and 
after a victory the emperors were acclaimed Impcratores for 
the fifth time and gave honourable discharge to some soldiers ; 
see C.I.L., iii. p. 888 (dated 5 May, 167). 



down from heaven and the end of the world 
would come should he fall from the tree and be 
turned into a stork, and finally at the appointed 
time did fall down and free a stork from his robe, 
the Emperor, when the wretch was hailed before 
him and confessed all, pardoned him. 

XIV. Clad in the military cloak the two emperors 166 
finally set forth, for now not only were the Victuali and 
Marcomanni throwing everything into confusion, but 
other tribes, who had been driven on by the more 
distant barbarians and had retreated before them, were 
ready to attack Italy if not peaceably received. And 
not a little good resulted from that expedition, even 
by the time they had advanced as far as Aquileia, for 
several kings retreated, together with their peoples, 
and put to death the authors of the trouble. And 
the Quadi, after they had lost their king, said that 
they would not confirm the successor who had been 
elected until such a course was approved by our em- 
perors. Nevertheless, Lucius went on, though re- 
luctantly, after a number of peoples had sent 
ambassadors to the legates of the emperors asking 
pardon for the rebellion. Lucius, it is true, thought 
they should return, because Furius Victorinus, the 
prefect of the guard, had been lost, and part of his 
army had perished ; l Marcus, however, held that 
they should press on, thinking that the barbarians, in 
order that they might not be crushed by the size of so 
great a force, were feigning a retreat and using other 
ruses which afford safety in war, held that they 
should persist in order that they might not be over- 
whelmed by the mere burden of their vast prepara- 
tions. Finally, they crossed the Alps, and pressing 
further on, completed all measures necessary for the 
defence of Italy and Illyricum. 2 They then decided, 
at Lucius' insistence, that letters should first be sent 



missis ad senatum litteris Lucius Romam rediret. 
8 via quoque l , postquam iter ingressi sunt, sedens cum 
fratre in vehiculo Lucius apoplexi arreptus periit. 

XV. Fuit autem consuetude Marco ut in eircensium 
spectaculo legeret audiretque ac subscriberet, ex quo 
quidem saepe iocis popularibus dicitur lacessitus. 

2 Multum sane potuerunt liberti sub Marco et Vero 
Geminas et Agaclytus. 

3 Tantae autem sanctitatis fuit Marcus ut Veri vitia 
et celaverit et defenderit, cum ei vehementissime dis- 
plicerent, 2 mortuumque eum divum appellaverit 
amitasque eius et sorores honoribus et salariis decretis 
sublevaverit atque provexerit sacrisque eum 3 plurimis 

4 honoraverit. flaminem et Antoninianos sodales et 
omnes honores qui divis habentur eidem dedicavit. 

5 nemo est principum, quern non gravis fama perstrin- 
gat, usque adeo ut etiam Marcus in sermonem venerit, 
quod Verum vel veneno ita tulerit ut parte cultri 
veneno lita vulvam incident, venenatam partem fratri 

Gedendam propinans et sibi innoxiam reservans, vel 
certe per medicum Posidippum, qui ei sanguinem in- 
tempestive dicitur emisisse. Cassius post mortem 
Veri a Marco descivit. 4 

*Thus Bitschofsky; bia quoque P; uiaque Salm., Peter. 
"displiceret P, but cf. c. xvi. 4. 3 cum P 1 ; uel eum P corr. 
4 Cassius . . . desciuit probably from margin of c. xxiv. 5. 

1 In 169 at Altinum in Venetia; see Ver., ix. 10-11. 

2 Cf Ver.,ix. 3. 

3 The section of the vita from this point through c. xix. is 
a later interpolation ; see Intro., p. xxii. 

4 Cf. c. xx. 1-2, and the coins of Divus Verus with the 
legend Consecratio ; see Cohen, iii*, p. 176 f., Nos. 53-59. 

6 Cf . c. xx. 5. 

B See note to Hadr. t xxvii. 3, and Pius, xiii. 4. 'This 
priesthood was now called sodales Antoniniani Veriani, after 



ahead to the senate and that Lucius should then re- 
turn to Rome. But on the way, after they had set 
out upon their journey, Lucius died from a stroke of 
apoplexy 1 while riding in the carriage with his 

XV. It was customary with Marcus to read, listen 
to, and sign documents at the circus-games ; because of 
this habit lie was openly ridiculed, it is said, by the 

The freedmeii Geminas and Agaclytus 2 were very 
powerful in the reign of Marcus and Verus. 

Such was Marcus' sense of honour, 3 moreover, that 
although Verus' vices mightily offended him, he con- 
cealed and defended them ; he also deified him after 
his death, 4 aided and advanced his aunts and sisters 
by means of honours and pensions, 5 honoured Verus 
himself with many sacrifices, consecrated a flamen for 
him and a college of Antonine priests, 6 and gave him 
all honours that are appointed for the deified. There 
is no emperor who is not the victim of some evil tale, 
and Marcus is no exception. For it was bruited 
about, in truth, that he put Verus out of the way, 
either with poison by cutting a sow's womb with 
a knife smeared on one side with poison, and then 
offering the poisoned portion to his brother to eat, 
while keeping the harmless portion for himself 7 or, 
at least, by employing the physician Posidippus, who 
bled Verus, it is said, unseasonably. After Verus' 
death Cassius revolted from Marcus. 8 

Marcus' deification Marciani was added, after Pertinax' death 
Helviani (Pert., xv. 4), after Severus' Severiani (C.I.L., vi. 
1365), after Alexander's Alexandriani (Alex., Ixiii. 4). 

7 Cf. Ver. t xi. 2; Dio, Ixxi. 3, 1. According to another 
story, he was poisoned by Faustina; see Ver. t x. 1-5. 

8 In 175 ; see c. xxiv. 6 f. ; Av. Cass., vii. f. 



XVI. lam in suos tanta fuit benignitate Marcus ut 
cum in omnes propinqiios cuncta honorum ornameiita 
contulerit, turn in filium et quidem l scelestum atque 
impurum cito nomen Caesaris et mox sacerdotium 
statimque nomen imperatoris ac triumph! partici- 

2 pationem et consulatum. quo quidem' tempore 
sedente imperator filio 2 ad triumphalem currum in 
Circo pedes cucurrit. 

3 Post Veri obitum Marcus Antoninus solus rem 
publicam tenuit, multo melior et feracior ad virtutes, 

4 quippe qui nullis Veri iam impediretur aut simplicitatis 
calidaeque veritatis, 3 qua ille ingenito vitio laborabat, 
erroribus aut iis qui praecipue displicebant Marco 
Antonino iam hide a primo aetatis suae tempore vel 

5 institutis mentis pravae vel moribus. erat enim ipse 
tantae tranquillitatis ut vultum numquam mutaverit 
maerore vel gaudio, philosophiae deditus Stoicae, 
quam et per optimos quosque magistros acceperat et 

6 undique ipse collegerat. nam et Hadrianus hunc 
eundem successorem paraverat, nisi ei aetas puerilis 

7 obstitisset. quod quidem apparet ex eo quod generum 
Pio hunc eundem delegit, ut ad eum, dignum utpote 
virum, quandocumque Romanum perveniret imperium. 

1 et Commodum quidem P, Bitschofsky ; Gommodum re- 
moved by Jordan. - So Peter ; sine imperator filio P. 
3 So Peter ; simulatis callidae seueritatis P. 

1 i.e., Commodus. 2 See o. xii. 8 and note. 

3 On 20 January, 175; see Com., i. 10; xii. 1. On the 
priesthood held by sons of emperors see note to c. vi. 3 

4 On 27 November, 176; see Com., ii. 4; xii. 4. 

5 On 23 December, 176; see Com., ii. 4; xii. 5. This, 
however, seems not to have been the triumph held by Marcus 
in celebration of his victory in Pannonia ; see c. xvii. 3 and 



XVI. Such was Marcus' kindness toward his own 
family that he bestowed the insignia of every office 
on all his kin, while on his son, 1 and an accursed and 
foul one he was, he hastened to bestow the name of 
Caesar, 2 then afterward the priesthood, 3 and, a little 
later, the title of imperator 4 and a share in a 
triumph 5 and the consulship. It was at this time 177 
that Marcus, though acclaimed imperator, ran on foot 
in the Circus by the side of the triumphal car in 
which his son was seated. 

After the death of Verus, Marcus Antoninus held 
the empire alone, a nobler man by far and more 
abounding in virtues, especially as he was no longer 
hampered by Verus' faults, neither by those of exces- 
sive candour and hot-headed plain speaking, from 
which Verus suffered through natural folly, nor by 
those others which had particularly irked Marcus 
Antoninus even from his earliest years, the principles 
and habits of a depraved mind. Such was Marcus' 
own repose of spirit that neither in grief nor in joy 
did he ever change countenance, being wholly given 
over to the Stoic philosophy, which he had not only 
learned from all the best masters, 6 but also acquired 
for himself from every source. For this reason 
Hadrian would have taken him for his own successor 
to the throne had not his youth prevented. This in- 
tention, indeed, seems obvious from the fact that he 
chose Marcus to be the son-in-law of Pius, 7 in order 
that the direction of the Roman state might some 
time at least come into his hands, as to those of one 
well worthy. 

6 Of. c. ii. 6 iii. 3. 

7 This is an error, for Hadrian betrothed him to the 
daughter of Aelius Caesar ; see c. iv. 5 and vi. 2. 



XVII. Ergo provincias post haec ingenti modera- 
tione ac benignitate tractavit. contra Gerraanos res 

2 feliciter gessit. speciale ipse bellum Marcomannicum, 
sed quantum l nulla umquam memoria fuit, cum virtute 
turn etiam felicitate transegit, et eo quidem tempore 
quo pestilentia gravis multa milia et popularium et 

Smilitum interemerat. Pannonias ergo, Marcomannis 
Sarmatis Vandalis simul etiam Quadis exstinctis, 
servitio liberavit et Romae cum Commodo, quern iam 
Caesarem fecerat, filio, ut diximus, suo triumphavit. 

4 cum autem ad hoc bellum omne aerarium exhausisset 
suum neque in animum induceret, ut extra ordinem 
provincialibus aliquid imperaret, in foro divi Traiani 
auctionem ornamentorum impenalium fecit vendidit- 
que aurea pocula et crystallina et murrina, vasa etiam 
regia et vestem uxoriam sericam et auratam, gemmas 
quin etiam, quas multas in repositorio sanctiore 

5 Hadriani reppererat. et per duos quidem menses 
haec venditio celebrata est, tantumque auri redactum 
ut reliquias belli Marcomannici ex sententia per- 
secutus postea dederit potestatem emptoribus, ut, si 
qui vellet empta reddere atque aurum recipere, sciret 
licere. nee molestus ulli fuit qui vel non reddidit 

1 quanta P. 

1 See c. xiii. 3. 

2 This sentence sums up the war from Marcus' departure 
from Rome in October, 169 (cf. coins with Profectio Augu*ti t 
Cohen, iii 2 , p. 51, No. 500) to the victory over the Sarmatians 
in 175, after which Marcus was acclaimed Imperator for the 
eighth time and assumed the title Sarmaticus ; see c. xxiv. 5 
and Cohen, iii 8 , p. 91 f., Nos. 916-925. 

8 See c. xvi. 2. His triumph over the Germans and the 
Sarmatians was held in 176 after his return from the Bast ; 
see c. xxvii. 3 ; Cohen, iii 2 , p. 17, No. 154, and p. 18, No. 164 ; 
C I.L. vi. 1014 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 374. Since the coins and 
the inscriptions date this triumph in the 30th year of the tri- 



XVII. Toward the provinces from then on he 
acted with extreme restraint and consideration. He 
carried on a successful campaign against the Germans. 
He himself singled out the Marcomannic war a 
war which surpassed any in the memory of man 
and waged it with both valour and success, and 
that at a time when a grievous pestilence had 
carried away thousands of civilians and soldiers. 1 
And so, by crushing the Marcomanni, the Sarmatians, 
the Vandals, and even the Quadi, he freed the Pan- 
nonias from bondage, 2 and with Commodus his son, 
whom he had previously named Caesar, triumphed at 
Rome, as we told above. 3 When he had drained the 
treasury for this war, moreover, and could not bring 
himself to impose any extraordinary tax on the 
provincials, he held a public sale in the Forum of the 
Deified Trajan 4 of the imperial furnishings, and sold 
goblets of gold and crystal and murra, 5 even flagons 
made for kings, his wife's silken gold-embroidered 
robes, and, indeed, even certain jewels which he had 
found in considerable numbers in a particularly 
holy cabinet of Hadrian's. This sale lasted for two 
months, and such a store of gold was realised thereby, 
that after he had conducted the remainder of the 
Marcomannic war in full accordance with his plans, 
he gave the buyers to understand that if any of them 
wished to return his purchases and recover his money, 
he could do so. Nor did he make it unpleasant for 
anyone who did or did not return what he had bought. 

bunician power of Marcus (10 December, 175 9 December, 
176), and since the triumph of Commodus was held on 23 De- 
cember, 176, the statement that Commodus triumphed with 
his father, as made here and in Com., ii. 4, must be erroneous. 

4 See note to Hadr., vii. 6. 

5 Probably a variety of agate ; see J. Marquardt, Privatle- 
ben d. Rdmer*, ii., p. 765 f. 



Gempta vel reddidit. tune viris clarioribus permisit 
ut eodem cultu quo et ipse vel miiiistris similibus 

7 convivia exhiberent. in munere autem publico tarn 
magnanimus fuit ut centum leones una missione 1 
simul exhiberet et sagittis interfectos. 2 

XVIII. Cum igitur in amore omnium imperasset 
atque ab aliis modo frater, modo pater, modo films, ut 
cuiusque aetas sinebat, et diceretur et amaretur, octavo 
decimo anno imperii sui, sexagensimo et primo vitae, 

2 diem ultimum clausit. tantusque illius amor eo die 
regii funeris 3 claruit ut nemo ilium plangendum cen- 
suerit, certis omnibus quod ab diis commodatus ad 

3 deos redisset. denique, priusquam fimus conderetur, 
ut plerique dicunt, quod numquam antea factum fuerat 
neque postea, senatus popul usque non divisis locis sed 
in una sede propitium deum dixit. 

4 Hie sane vir tantus et talis ac diis vita et morte 
coniunctus filium Commodum dereliquit ; qui, si felix 

5 fuisset, filium non reliquisset. et parum sane fuit 
quod illi honores divinos omnis aetas omnis sexus 
omnis condicio ac dignitas dedit, nisi quod etiam 
sacrilegus iudicatus est qui eius imaginem in sua 
domo non habuit, qui per fortunam vel potuit habere 

6 vel debuit. denique hodieque in multis domibus 
Marci Antonini statuae consistunt inter deos penates. 

7 nee defuerunt homines qui somniis eum multa prae- 

1 unam missionem P ; una in missione Peter. 2 So P ; 

Peter, foil. Mommsen, interfecit eos. 3 So P ; regii funeris 
removed by Peter, eo by Jordan. 

1 See c. xxviii. 



At this time, also, he granted permission to the more 
prominent men to hold banquets with the same pomp 
that he used himself and with servants similar to his 
own. In the matter of public games, furthermore, 
he was so liberal as to present a hundred lions to- 
gether in one performance and have them all killed 
with arrows. 

XVIII. After he had ruled, then, with the good- 
will of all, and had been named and beloved variously 
as brother, father, or son by various men according 
to their several ages, in the eighteenth year of his 
reign and the sixty-first of his life he closed his last 17 Mar., 
day. 1 Such love for him was manifested on the day 180 
of the imperial funeral that none thought that men 
should lament him, since all were sure that he had 
been lent by the gods and had now returned to them. 
Finally, before his funeral was held, so many say, the 
senate and people, not in separate places but sitting 
together, as was never done before or after, hailed 
him as a gracious god. 

This man, so great, so good, and an associate of the 
gods both in life and in death, left one son Corn- 
modus ; and had he been truly fortunate he would 
not have left a son. It was not enough, indeed, that 
people of every age, sex, degree and rank in life, gave 
him all honours given to the gods, but also whosoever 
failed to keep the Emperor's image in his home, if his 
fortune were such that he could or should have done 
so, was deemed guilty of sacrilege. Even to-day, in 
fine, statues of Marcus Antoninus stand in many a 
home among the household gods. Nor were there 
lacking men who observed that he foretold many 
things by dreams and were thereby themselves 
enabled to predict events that did come to pass. 



8 dixisse augurantes futura et vera concinuerunt. unde 
etiam templum ei constitutum, dati sacerdotes 
Antoniniani et sodales et flamines et omnia quae 
aede sacrata l decrevit antiquitas. 

XIX. Aiunt quidam, quod et veri simile videtur, Com- 
modum Antoninum, successorem illius ac filium, non 

2 esse de eo natum sed de adulterio, ac talem fabellam 
vulgari sermone contexunt : Faust inam quondam, Pii 
filiam, Marci uxorem, cum gladiatores transire vidisset, 
unius ex his amore succensam, cum longa aegritudine 

Slaboraret, viro de amore confessam. quod cum ad 
Chaldaeos Marcus rettulisset, illorum fuisse consilium, 
ut occiso gladiatore sanguine illius sese Faustina sub- 

4lavaret atque ita cum viro concumberet. quod cum 
esset factum, solutum quidem amorem, natum vero 

5 Commodum gladiatorem esse, non principem, qui 
mille prope pugnas publice populo inspectante gladia- 
torias imperator exhibuit, ut in vita eius docebitur. 

6 quod quidem veri simile ex eo habetur quod tarn sancti 
principis filius iis moribus fuit quibus nullus lanista, 
nullus scaenicus, nullus arenarius, nullus postremo 
ex omnium dedecorum 2 ac scelerum conluvione con- 

7cretus. multi autem ferunt Commodum omnino ex 
adulterio 3 natum, si quidem Faustinam satis coiistet 
apud Caietam condicione* sibi et nauticas et gladia- 

8 torias elegisse. de qua cum diceretur Antonino Marco, 

1 So Peter with Madvig ; df sacrata P ; de sacratis P corr. 
2 decorum P. 3 adultero P, but cf. c. xix. 1 (see Lessing 


1 See note to Hadr., xxvii. 3, and c. xv. 4. 
3 See Cam., si. 12 ; xii. 11. 

5 For similar stories see c. xxiii. 7 and xxix. 1-3 ; Victor, 
Caes., xvi. 2. Evidence to the contrary seems to be afforded 



Therefore a temple was built for him and priests were 
appointed, dedicated to the service of the Antonines, 
both Sodales 1 and flamens, and all else that the usage 
of old time decreed for a consecrated temple. 

XIX. Some say, and it seems plausible, that Corn- 
modus Antoninus, his son and successor, was not 
begotten by him, but in adultery ; they embroider 
this assertion, moreover, with a story current among 
the people. On a certain occasion, it was said, 
Faustina, the daughter of Pius and wife of Marcus, 
saw some gladiators pass by, and was inflamed with 
love for one of them ; and afterwards, when suffering 
from a long illness, she confessed the passion to her 
husband. And when Marcus reported this to the 
Chaldeans, it was their advice that the gladiator 
should be killed and that Faustina should bathe in 
his blood and thus couch with her husband. When 
this was done, the passion was indeed allayed, but 
their son Commodus was born a gladiator, not really 
a prince ; for afterwards as emperor he fought almost 
a thousand gladiatorial bouts before the eyes of the 
people, as shall be related in his life. 2 This story is 
considered plausible, as a matter of fact, for the 
reason that the son of so virtuous a prince had habits 
worse than any trainer of gladiators, any play-actor, 
any fighter in the arena, or, in fine, anything brought 
into existence from the offscourings of all dishonour 
and crime. Many writers, however, state that Com- 
modus was really begotten in adultery, since it is 
generally known that Faustina, while at Caieta, used 
to choose out lovers from among the sailors and 
gladiators. a When Marcus Antoninus was told about 

by Marcus' own affection and respect for her; see els 
\. 17, 7. 



ut earn repudiaret, si non occideret, dixisse fertur 
9 " si uxorem dimittimus, reddamus et dotem ". dos 
autem quid habebatur ? l imperium, quod ille ab 
socero volente Hadriano adoptatus acceperat. 

10 Tantum sane valet boni principis vita sanctitas 
tranquillitas pietas ut eius famam nullius proximi 

11 decoloret invidia. denique Antonino, cum suos mores 
semper teneret neque alicuius insusurratione mu- 
taretur, non obfuit gladiator filius, uxor infamis ; 

12 deusque etiam nunc habetur, ut vobis ipsis, sacratissime 
imperator Diocletiane, et semper visum est et videtur, 
qui eum inter numina vestra non ut ceteros sed 
specialiter veneramini ac saepe dicitis, vos vita et 
dementia tales esse cupere qualis fuit Marcus, etiamsi 
philosophia nee Plato esse possit, si revertatur in 
vitam. 2 et quidem haec breviter et congeste. 

XX. Sed Marco Antonino haec sunt gesta post 
fratrem : primum corpus eius Romam devectum est 

2et inlatum maiorum sepulchris. divini 3 inde honores 
decreti. dein cum gratias ageret senatui quod fratrem 
consecrasset, occulte ostendit omnia bellica consilia sua 

3 fuisse, quibus superati sunt Parthi. addidit praeterea 
quaedam, quibus ostendit nunc demum se quasi a 
principio acturum esse rem publicam amoto eo qui 

J So Petschenig with P; dos autem quid habebatur nisi 
imperium edd. with P corr. 2 reueratori uita P. 3 in, 

following diuini, deleted by P corr. ; inde Peter. 

1 See c. xiv. 8. The interpolated section ends with c. xix. ; 
see note to c. xv. 3. 

2 i.e., the Tomb of Hadrian ; see Ver., xi. 1. His sepulchral 
inscription is C.I.L., vi. 991 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 369. 

3 Cf . c. xv. 3-4. 



this, that he might divorce, if not kill her, he is 
reported to have said "If we send our wife away, 
we must also return her dowry ". And what was her 
dowry ? the Empire, which, after he had been adopted 
at the wish of Hadrian, he had inherited from his 
father in -law Pius. 

But truly such is the power of the life, the holiness, 
the serenity, and the righteousness of a good emperor 
that not even the scorn felt for his kin can sully his 
own good name. For since Antoninus held ever to 
his moral code and was moved by no man's whispered 
machinations, men thought no less of him because his 
son was a gladiator, his wife infamous. Even now 
he is called a god, which ever has seemed and even 
now seems right to you, most venerable Emperor 
Diocletian, who worship him among your divinities, 
not as you worship the others, but as one apart, and 
who often say that you desire, in life and gentleness, 
to be such a one as Marcus, even though, as far as 
philosophy is concerned, Plato himself, were he to 
return to life, could not be such a philosopher. So 
much, then, for these matters, told briefly and con- 

XX. But as for the acts of Marcus Antoninus after 
the death of his brother, 1 they are as follows : First 
of all, he conveyed his body to Rome and laid it in 
the tomb of his fathers. 2 Then divine honours were 
ordered for Verus. 3 Later, while rendering thanks 
to the senate for his brother's deification, he darkly 
hinted that all the strategic plans \vhereby the Par- 
thians had been overcome were his own. He added, 
besides, certain statements in which he indicated 
that now at length he would make a fresh beginning 
in the management of the state, now that Verus, who 



4 remissior videbatur. nee aliter senatus accepit quam 
Marcus dixerat, ut videretur gratias agere quod 

6 Verus excessisset vita, omnibus deinde sororibus et 
adfinibus et libertis iuris et honoris et pecuniae 
plurimum detulit. erat enim famae suae curiosissi- 
mus, requirens ad verum, quid quisque de se diceret, 
emendans quae bene reprehensa viderentur. 

6 Proficiscens ad bellum Germanicum filiam suam non 
decurso luctus tempore grandaevo equitis Roman! 
filio Claudio Pompeiano dedit genere Antiochensi 

7 nee satis nobili (quern postea bis consulem fecit), cum 
filia eius Augusta esset et Augustae filia. sed has nup- 
tias et Faustina et ipsa quae dabatur invitae habuerunt. 

XXI. Cum Mauri Hispanias prope oimies vastarent, 

2 res per legates bene gestae sunt. et cum per Aegyptum 
Bucolici milites gravia multa fecissent, per Avidium 
Cassium retunsi sunt, qui postea tyrannidem arripuit. 

3 sub ipsis profectionis diebus in secessu Praenestino 
agens filium, nomine Verum Caesaiem, exsecto sub 

4aure tubere septennem amisit. quern non plus quin- 
que diebus luxit consultusque etiam medios l actibus 

1 Thus Peter with Lipsius ; consolalusque etiam medicos P. 

1 Cf. c. xv. 3. 

2 After his return to Rome with the body of Verus. He 
set out in October, 169 ; see note to c. xvii. 3. 

3 Lucilla, the widow of Verus. 

4 Cf. c. xxii. 11. The date is probably 172-173, see Sev. t 

* t 

11. 4. 

8 According to Av. Cass., vi. 7, this statement is taken 
from Marius Maximus' Life of Marcus. The rebellion is 
somewhat more fully described in Dio, Ixxi. 4. The Boukoloi, 
a tribe of herdsmen and brigands, lived in the N.W. of the 
Delta, not far from Alexandria. According to Dio's chron- 
ology, the rebellion happened after Marcus' assumption of 
the name Germanicus, i.e. in 172-173. 



had seemed somewhat negligent, was removed. And 
the senate took this precisely as it was said, so that 
Marcus seemed to be giving thanks that Verus had 
departed this life. Afterwards he bestowed many 
privileges and much honour and money on all Verus' 
sisters, kin, and freedmen. 1 For he was exceedingly 
solicitous about his good reputation, indeed he was 
wont to ask what men really said of him, and to 
correct whatever seemed justly blamed. 

Just before setting out for the German war, 2 and 
before the period of mourning had yet expired, he 
married his daughter 3 to Claudius Pompeianus, the 
son of a Roman knight, and now advanced in years, 
a native of Antioch, whose birth was not sufficiently 
noble (though Marcus later made him consul twice), 
since Marcus" daughter was an Augusta and the 
daughter of an Augusta. Indeed, Faustina and the 
girl who was given in marriage were both opposed 
to this match. 

XXI. Against the Mauri, when they wasted almost 
the whole of Spain, 4 matters were brought to a suc- 
cessful conclusion by his legates ; and when the 
warriors of the Bucolici did many grievous things in 
Egypt, 5 they were checked by Avidius Cassius, who 
later attempted to seize the throne. 6 Just before 
his departure, 7 while he was living in retreat at 
Praeneste, Marcus lost his seven-year-old son, by 
name Verus Caesar, 8 from an operation on a tumour 
under his ear. For no more than five days did he 
mourn him ; and even during this period, when con- 
sulted on public affairs he gave some time to them. 

6 See c. xxiv. 6 f ; Av. Cass. vii. f. 

7 i.e., for the German war ; see c. xx. 6. 

8 M. Annius Verus ; see note to c. xii. 8. 



publicis reddidit. et quia ludi lovis Optimi Maximi 
5erant, interpellari eos publico luctu noluit iussitque, 
ut statuae tantummodo filio mortuo decernerentur et 
imago aurea circensibus per pompam ferenda et ut 
saliari carmini nomen eius insereretur. 

6 Instante sane adhuc pestilentia et deorum cultum 
diligentissime restituit et servos, quemadmodum bello 
Punico factum fuerat, ad militiam paravit, quos volun- 

7 tarios exemplo volonum appellavit. armavit etiam 
gladiatores, quos obsequentes appellavit. latrones 
etiam Dalmatiae atque Dardaniae milites fecit, 
armavit et Diogmitas. emit et Germanorum auxilia 

8 contra Germanos. omni praeterea diligentia paravit 
legiones ad Germanicum et Marcomannicum bellum. 

9 et, lie provincialibus esset molestus, auctioiiem rerum 
aulicarum, ut diximus, fecit in foro divi Traiani, in qua 
praeter vestes et pocula et vasa aurea etiam signa 

10 cum tabulis magnorum artificum vendidit. Mar- 
comannos in ipso transitu Danuvii delevit et praedam 

1 Probably the Ludi Capitolini, held on 15 October. 

2 Germanicus' name had been similarly inserted in this 
song after his death ; see Tac., Ann., ii. 82. 

3 See c. xiii. 3. 

4 The name given to the slaves who volunteered for mili- 
tary service after the defeat at Cannae in the Second Punic 
War ; see Livy, xxii. 57, 11, and Festus, p. 370. 

5 The district east of southern Dalmatia ; it is now the 
southern portion of the kingdom of Serbia. 

6 The Diogmitai were the military police maintained by 
the Greek cities. They were also called upon to perform 
military service the suppression of brigands in 368 ; see 
Amm. Marc., xxvii. 9, 6. 

7 These new legions were named Legio II Pia and Legio 



And because the games of Jupiter Optimus Maximus l 
were then in progress and he did not wish to have 
them interrupted by public mourning, he merely 
ordered that statues should be decreed for his dead 
son, that a golden image of him should be carried 
in procession at the Circus, and that his name should 
be inserted in the song of the Salii. 2 

And since the pestilence 3 was still raging at this 
time, he both zealously revived the worship of the 
gods and trained slaves for military service just as 
had been done in the Punic war whom he called 
Volunteers, after the example of the Volones. 4 He 
armed gladiators also, calling them the Compliant, 
and turned even the bandits of Dalmatia and Dar- 
dania 5 into soldiers. He armed the Diogmitae, 6 
besides, and even hired auxiliaries from among the 
Germans for service against Germans. And besides 
all this, he proceeded with all care to enrol legions 7 
for the Marcomannic and German wars. And lest 
all this prove burdensome to the provinces, he held 
an auction of the palace furnishings in the Forum of 
the Deified Trajan, as we have related, 8 and sold 
there, besides robes and goblets and golden flagons, 
even statues and paintings by great artists. He over- 
whelmed the Marcomanni while they were crossing 
the Danube, 9 and restored the plunder to the pro- 

III Concordia : see G.I.L.j iii. 1980. They were afterwards 
called Legio II and III Italica ; see Dio, Iv. 24, 4. 

8 See c. xvii.4-5. 

9 This is probably the victory commemorated by coins of 
172 with a representation of Marcus and his soldiers crossing 
a bridge, presumably over the Danube ; see Cohen, iii 2 , r>. 99 f., 
Nos. 999-1001. Other coins of this year bear the legend 
Germania Subacta ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 23, Nos. 215-216. It 
was in this year too that Marcus took the name Germanicus ; 
see C.I.L., iii. 1450. 



XXII. provincialibus reddidit. gentes omnes ab Illyrici 
limite usque in Galliam conspiraverant, ut Marcomanni 
Varistae Hermunduri et Quadi Suebi Sarmatae 
Lacringes et Buri hi aliique l cum Victualis Osi Bessi 
Cobotes Roxolani Bastarnae Alani Peucini Costoboci. 
imminebat et Parthicum bellum et Britannicum. 

2 magno igitur labore etiam suo gentes asperrimas vicit 
militibus sese imitantibus, ducentibus etiam exer- 
citum legatis et praefectis praetorio, accepitque in 
deditionem Marcomannos plurimis in Italiam tra- 


3 Semper sane cum optimatibus non solum bellicas 
res sed etiam civiles, priusquam faceret aliquid, con- 

4 tulit. denique sententia illius praecipua semper haec 
fuit: "Aequius est ut ego tot talium amicorum con- 
silium sequar, quam ut tot tales amici meam unius 

5 voluntatem sequantur". sane quia durus videbatur 
ex philosophiae institutione Marcus ad militiae labores 

6 atque ad omnem vitam graviter carpebatur, sed male 
loquentibus 2 vel sermone vel litteris respondebat. 

7 et multi nobiles bello Germanico sive Marcomannico 
immo plurimarum gentium interierunt. quibus omni- 

8 bus statuas in foro Ulpio conlocavit. quare frequenter 
amici suaserunt, ut a bellis discederet et 3 Romam 
veniret, sed ille contempsit ac perstitit nee prius reces- 

9 sit quam omnia bella finiret. provincias ex procon- 

1 Some name is lost in these words : Petschenig suggests 
Hariique. 2 loquentum P (P corr. adds dictis) ; loquentibus 
(or loquentum uel sermoni) Peter. z et omitted in P. 

1 Of. c. xxiv. 3. 

2 i.e., his consilium; see Hadr., viii. 9 and note. 

3 See note to Hadr., vii. 6. 

4 But see c. xxiv. 5 and xxv. 1. 



vincials. XXII. Then, from the borders of Illyricum 
even into Gaul, all the nations banded together 
against us the Marcomanni, Varistae, Hermunduri 
and Quadi, the Suebians, Sarmatians, Lacringes and 
Buri, these and certain others together with the 
Victuali, namely, Osi, Bessi, Cobotes, Roxolani, 
Bastarnae, Alani, Peucini, and finally, the Costoboci. 
Furthermore, war threatened in Parthia and Britain. 
Thereupon, by immense labour on his own part, while 
his soldiers reflected his energy, and both legates and 
prefects of the guard led the host, he conquered 
these exceedingly fierce peoples, accepted the sur- 
render of the Marcomanni, and brought a great 
number of them to Italy. 1 

Always before making any move, he conferred with 
the foremost men 2 concerning matters not only of 
war but also of civil life. This saying particularly 
was ever on his lips : " It is juster that I should yield 
to the counsel of such a number of such friends than 
that such a number of such friends should yield to 
my wishes, who am but one ". But because Marcus, 
as a result of his system of philosophy, seemed harsh 
in his military discipline and indeed in his life in 
general, he was bitterly assailed ; to all who spoke 
ill of him, however, he made reply either in speeches 
or in pamphlets. And because in this German, or 
Marcomannic, war, or rather I should say in this 
"War of Many Nations," many nobles perished, for 
all of whom he erected statues in the Forum of 
Trajan, 3 his friends often urged him to abandon 
the war and return to Rome. He, however, dis- 
regarded this advice and stood his ground, nor did 
he withdraw before he had brought all the wars 
to a conclusion. 4 Several proconsular provinces he 



sularibus consulares aut ex consularibus proconsulares 

10 aut l praetorias pro belli necessitate fecit, res etiam in 
Sequanis turbatas censura et auctoritate repressit. 

11 compositae res et in 2 Hispania, quae per Lusitaniam 

12 turbatae erant. filio Commodo accersito ad limitem 
togam virilem dedit, quare congiarium populo divisit 
et eum ante tempus consulem designavit. 

XXIII. Si quis umquam proscriptus est a praefecto 

2urbi, non libenter accepit. ipse in largitionibus 

pecuniae publicae parcissimus fuit, quod laudi potius 

3datur quam reprehensioni, sed tamen et bonis viris 

pecunias dedit et oppidis labentibus auxilium tulit et 

tributa vel vectigalia, ubi necessitas cogebat, remisit. 

1 Hirschfeld (Wicn. Stud., Ill, p. 116) would insert ex 
procuratoriis before praetotias. 2 in omitted in P. 

1 i.e. l he took them from under the control of the senate 
and made them imperial provinces governed by legates of 
consular rank ; see note to Hadr., iii. 9. 

3 i.e., transferred from the control of the emperor to that 
of the senate. 

3 Either the author fails to understand what he is trying 
to say here, or an omission in the text must be assumed, such 
as Hirschfeld's proposed insertion ex procurator Us. He seemg 
to mean that certain provinces now received as governors 
legates of praetorian rank (see note to Hadr., iii. 9). As 
there is no evidence for the supposition that any provinces 
were transferred from the "consular" class to the "prae- 
torian," it must be assumed that the provinces in question 
were previously governed by equestrian procurators. Such a 
transfer from "procuratory " to " praetorian " provinces was 
actually made under Marcus in the cases of Raetia and Nori- 
cum, to which were sent the two new legions mentioned in 
o. xxi. 8. 

4 Cf . c. xxi. 1. 



changed into consular, 1 and several consular pro- 
vinces into proconsular 2 or praetorian, 3 according to 
the exigencies of war. He checked disturbances 
among the Sequani by a rebuke and by his personal 
influence ; and in Spain, 4 likewise, he quieted the 
disturbances which had arisen in Lusitania. And 
having summoned his son Commodus to the border 
of the empire, he gave him the toga virilis, 5 in honour 9 Jul., 
of which he distributed largess among the people, 6 
and appointed him consul before the legal age. 7 177. 

XXIII. He was always displeased at hearing that 
anyone had been outlawed by the prefect of the city. 
He himself was very sparing of the public money in 
giving largess 8 a fact which we mention rather in 
praise than in disparagement but nevertheless he 
gave financial assistance to the deserving, furnished 
aid to towns on the brink of ruin, 9 and, when neces- 
sity demanded, cancelled tribute or taxes. 10 And 

5 See Com., ii. 2; xii. 3; Dio, Ixxi. 22, 2. The ceremony 
took place on the Danube frontier immediately prior to 
Marcus' departure for Syria. 

6 Commemorated on coins of 175 with the legend Liber- 
alitcis Aug(usti) VI; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 43, Nos. 416-420. 

7 Under the empire the minimum age for the consulship 
seems to have been 33. See alsj note to Pius, vi. 10. 

8 Yet his coins record seven different largesses to the 
populace; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 41 f., Nos. 401-427. See also 
c. xxvii. 5 and note. His donation to the soldiers on his 
accession was unusually large (see c. vii. 9), but on another 
occasion he is said to nave refused the army's request for a 
donation; see Dio, Ixxi. 3, 3. 

9 See also c. xi. 3. He also came to the relief of Smyrna 
when destroyed by an earthquake in 178 ; see Dio, Ixxi. 32, 2. 

10 In 178 all arrears due the treasury or the privy-purse 
were cancelled ; see Dio, Ixxi 32, 2. This was merely an ap- 
plication of the principle established by Hadrian; see note 
to Hadr., vii. 6. 



4absens populi Romani voluptates curari vehementer 

5praecepit per ditissimos editores. fuit enim populo 

hie sermo, cum sustulisset ad bellum gladiatores, quod 

populum sublatis voluptatibus vellet cogere ad philo- 

6 sophiam. iusserat enim ne mercimonia impedirentur, 

7 tardius pantomimes exhibere iionis l diebus. de 
amatis pantomimis ab uxore fuit sermo, ut superius 
diximus. sed haec omnia per epistolas suas purgavit. 

8 idem Marcus sederi in civitatibus vetuit in equis sive 
vehiculis. lavacra mixta summovit. mores matro- 
narum composuit diffluentes et iuvenum nobilium. 
sacra Serapidis a vulgaritate Pelusiae 2 summovit. 

9 fama fuit sane, quod sub philosophorum specie quidam 
rem publicam vexarent et privatos, quod ille purgavit. 

XXIV. Erat mos iste Antonino ut omnia crimina 
minore supplicio quam legibus plecti solent puniret, 
quamvis nonnumquam contra manifestos et gravium 
2 criminum reos inexorabilis permaneret. capitales 
causas hominum honestorum ipse cognovit, et quidem 
summa aequitate, ita ut praetorem reprehenderet, qui 

1 nonis Salm. ; non uotis P. *pelosiae P ; Pelusiaca 


a See c. xix. -Cf. Hadr., xviii. 10. 

3 The Serapia, the annual festival of the Egyptian deity 
Serapis, was celebrated on 25 April ; see Calendar of Philo- 
calus (C.I.I/., i 2 , p. 262). A festival called Pelusia, celebrating 
the annual overflow of the Nile, was held on 20 March ; see 
Lydus, de Mens., iv. 40. The statement of the biographer 
has been explained by Mommsen (C.I.L., i 3 . p. 313) as mean- 
ing that the customary licence of the Pelusia was limited in 
order to save the festival of Serapis from desecration. But 
in view of the interval between the dates this explanation ia 
not altogether convincing ; furthermore, licence is an un- 
natural meaning for vulgaritas and sacra Serapidis does not 
necessarily refer to the Serapia. The sentence seems rather 



while absent from Rome he left forceful instructions 
that the amusements of the Roman people should be 
provided for by the richest givers of public spectacles, 
because, when he took the gladiators away to the 
war, there was talk among the people that he intended 
to deprive them of their amusements and thereby 
drive them to the study of philosophy. Indeed, he 
had ordered that the actors of pantomimes should 
begin their performances nine days later than usual 
in order that business might not be interfered with. 
There was talk, as we mentioned above, 1 about his 
wife's intrigues with pantomimists ; however, he 
cleared her of all these charges in his letters. He 
forbade riding and driving within the limits of any 
city. He abolished common baths for both sexes. 2 
He reformed the morals of the matrons and young 
nobles which were growing lax. He separated the 
sacred rites of Serapis from the miscellaneous cere- 
monies of the Pelusia. 3 There was a report, further- 
more, that certain men masquerading as philosophers 
had been making trouble both for the state and for 
private citizens ; but this charge he refuted. 

XXIV. It was customary with Antoninus to punish 
all crimes with lighter penalties than were usually 
inflicted by the laws ; although at times, toward 
those who were clearly guilty of serious crimes he 
remained implacable. He himself held those trials 
of distinguished men which involved the death- 
penalty, and always with the greatest justice. Once, 
indeed, he rebuked a praetor who heard the pleas of 
accused men in too summary a fashion, and ordered 

to mean that the rites of Serapis were isolated from the mass 
of Egyptian cults celebrated at the Pelusia ; BO also Wilcken, 
Klio, ix. p. 131 f. 



cito reorum causas audierat, iuberetque ilium iterum 
cognoscere, dignitatis eorum interesse dicens ut ab 

3 eo audirentur qui pro populo iudicaret. aequitatem 
autem etiam circa captos hostes custodivit. infinites 

4 ex gentibus in Romano solo conlocavit. fulinen de 
caelo precibus suis contra hostium machinamentum 
extorsit, suis pluvia impetrata cum siti laborarent. 

5 Voluit Marcomanniam provinciam, voluit etiam 
GSarmatiam facere et fecisset, nisi Avidius Cassius 

rebellasset sub eodem in Oriente ; atque imperatorem 

se appellavit, 1 ut quidam dicunt, Faustina volente, 
7 quae de mariti valetudine desperaret. alii dicunt 

ementita morte Antonini Cassiunn imperatorem se 
Sappellasse, cum divum Marcum appellasset. et 

Antoninus quidem non est satis motus defectione 
9 Cassii nee in eius affectus saevit. 2 sed per senatum 

hostis est iudicatus bonaque eius proscripta per 
XXV. aerarium publicum. relicto 3 ergo Sarmatico Mar- 

comannicoque bello contra Cassium profectus est. 

2 Romae etiam turbae fuerunt, quasi Cassius absente 
Antonino adventaret. sed Cassius statim interfectus 

3 est caputque eius adlatum est ad Antoninum. Mar- 
cus tamen non exultavit interfectione Cassii caputque 

1 So P, which Lessing restores ; rebellasset sub eodem in 
oriente atque. . . . appellasset Peter. z nec eius affecius 

seui P ; restored by Peter from Av. Cass. vii. 5. 3 relecto P. 

1 Of. c. xxii. 2. 

2 In the war i against the Quadi in 174; see Dio, Ixxi. 8-10. 
According to Dio, the thunder-storm was sent by Hermes at 
the prayer of an Egyptian magician. The Christian legend, 
on the other hand, declared that the storm was an answer to 
the prayers of the Twelfth Legion, the Fulminata, entirely 
composed of Christiana ; see Xiphilinus in Dio, Ixxi. 9. 



him to hold the trials again, saying that it was a 
matter of concern to the honour of the accused that 
they should be heard by a judge who really repre- 
sented the people. He scrupulously observed justice, 
moreover even in his dealings with captive enemies. 
He settled innumerable foreigners on Roman soil. 1 
By his prayers he summoned a thunderbolt from 
heaven against a war-engine of the enemy, and suc- 
cessfully besought rain for his men when they were 
suffering from thirst. 2 

He wished to make a province of Marcomannia and 
likewise of Sarmatia, 3 and he would have done so had 
not Avidius Cassius just then raised a rebellion in the 
East. 4 This man proclaimed himself emperor, some 
say, at the wish of Faustina, who was now in despair 
over her husband's health ; others, however, say that 
Cassius proclaimed himself emperor after spreading 
false rumours of Antoninus' death, and indeed he had 
called him the Deified. Antoninus was not much dis- 
turbed by this revolt, nor did he adopt harsh measures 
against Cassius' dear ones. The senate, however, de- 
clared Cassius a public enemy and confiscated his 
property to the public treasury. XXV. The Emperor, 
then, abandoning the Sarmatian and Marcomannic 
wars, set out against him. At Rome there was aJul. 
panic for fear that Cassius would arrive during 
Antoninus' absence ; but he was speedily slain and 
his head was brought to Antoninus. Even then, 
Marcus did not rejoice at Cassius' death, and gave 

3 In 175, after a victory so decisive that Marcus was ac- 
claimed Imperator for the eighth time, and took the title 
Sarmaticus; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 91 f., Nos. 916-925; C.I.L., 
viii. 2276. 

4 Cf. Av. Cass., vii f. 



4 eius humari iussit. Maecianum etiam, socium l Cassii, 
cui Alexandria erat commissa, exercitus occidit. nam 
et praefectum praetorio sibi fecerat, qui et ipse oc- 

5 cisus est. in conscios defectionis vetuit senatum 

6 graviter vindicare. simul petiit, ne qui senator tern- 
pore principatus sui occideretur, ne eius ' 2 pollueretur 

7imperium. eos etiam qui deportati fuerant revocari 
iussit, cum paucissimi centuriones capite essent puniti. 

Signovit et civitatibus quae Cassio consenserant, ignovit 
et Antiochensibus, qui multa in Marcum pro Cassio 

9 dixerant. quibus et spectacula et conventus publicos 
tulerat et omne 3 contionum genus, contra quos 

10 edictum gravissimum misit. seditiosos autem eos et 
oratio Marci indicat, indita Mario Maximo, qua ille 

11 usus est apud amicos. denique noluit Antiochiam 

12 videre cum Syriam peteret. nam iiec Cyrrhum voluit 
videre, ex qua erat Cassius. postea tamen Antiochiam 
vidit. fuit Alexandriae clementer cum his agens. 4 

XXVI. Multa egit cum regibus et pacem confirmavit, 
sibi occurrentibus cunctis regibus et legatis Persarum. 

2 omnibus orientalibus provinciis carissimus fuit. apud 

3 multas etiam philosophiae vestigia reliquit. apud 
Aegyptios civem se egit et philosophum in omnibus 

1 socium suggested by Peter for /ilium of P, which is cer- 
tainly wrong ; see c. xxvi. 11 ; Av. Cass., vii. 4. *ne nece 
eius Peter, following Madvig. 3 omne Peter 1 ; omnium P, 
Peter. 2 4 This sentence, which precedes postea . . . vidit 
in P, was transposed by Gas. 

1 Possibly, though not probably, the jurist L. Volusius 
Maecianus (see Pius, xii. 1). 

2 For his general policy in the punishment of senators, 
see c. x. 6. 

3 Faustina and Commodus seem to have accompanied him 


orders that his head should be buried. Maecianus, 1 
Cassius' ally, in whose charge Alexandria had been 
placed, was killed by the army ; likewise his prefect 
of the guard for he had appointed one was also 
slain. Marcus then forbade the senate to impose 
any heavy punishment upon those who had conspired 
in this revolt ; and at the same time, in order that 
his reign might escape such a stain, he requested 
that during his rale no senator should be executed. 2 
Those who had been exiled, moreover, he ordered to 
be recalled ; and there were only a very few of the 
centurions who suffered the death-penalty. He par- 
doned the communities which had sided with Cassius, 
and even went so far as to pardon the citizens of 
Antioch, who had said many things in support of 
Cassius and in opposition to himself. But he did 
abolish their games and public meetings, including 
assemblies of every kind, and issued a very severe 
edict against the people themselves. And yet a 
speech which Marcus delivered to his friends, re- 
ported by Marius Maximus, brands them as rebels. 
And finally, he refused to visit Antioch when he 
journeyed to Syria, 3 nor would he visit Cyrrhus, 
the home of Cassius. Later on, however, he did visit 
Antioch. Alexandria, when he stayed there, he 
treated with clemency. 

XXVI. He conducted many negotiations with 
kings, and ratified peace with all the kings and 
satraps of Persia when they came to meet him. He 
was exceedingly beloved by all the eastern provinces, 
and on many, indeed, he left the imprint of philo- 
sophy. While in Egypt he conducted himself like a 

on this journey through Syria and Egypt; see c. xxvi. 4 and 
Cow., ii. 3. 



stadiis 1 templis locis. 2 et cum multa Alexandrini in 
Cassium dixissent fausta, tamen omnibus ignovit et 

4 filiam suam apud eos reliquit. Faustinam -suam in 
radicibus moiitis Tauri in vico Halalae exanimatam vi 

Ssubiti morbi amisit. petiit a senatu ut honores 
Faustinae aedemque decernerent, laudata eadem cum 
impudicitiae fama graviter laborasset. quae Anto- 

6 ninus vel nesciit vel dissimulavit. novas puellas Faus- 

7tinianas instituit in honorem uxoris mortuae. divam 
etiam Faustinam a senatu appellatam gratulatus est. 

8 quam secum et in aestlvis habuerat, ut matrem cas- 

9 trorum appellaret. fecit et coloniam vicum in quo 
obiit Faustina et aedem illi exstruxit. sed haec postea 
aedis Heliogabalo dedicata est. 

10 Ipsum Cassium pro dementia occidi passus est, non 

11 occidi iussit. deportatus est Heliodc rus, films Cassii, 
et alii liberum exsilium acceperunt cum bonorum parte. 

12filii autem Cassii et amplius media parte acceperunt 
paterni patrimonii et auro atque argento adiuti, 
mulieres autem etiam ornamentis ; ita ut Alexandria, 
filia Cassii, et Druncianus gener liberam vagandi 

1 stadiis Peter with Salm. ; studiis P, which Mommsen 
defends. 2 locis P (by error ocis Peter 2 , from which Momm- 
sen conj. oecis, and Novak, odeis). 

1 According to Dio, Ixxi. 29, 1, her death was by some 
attributed to suicide. 

2 Cf . c. xix. 

3 Cf. Pius, viii. 1. See also C.I.L., vi. 10222. 

4 Commemorated by coins of Diva Faustina, with the 
legend Consecratio ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 141 f., Nos. 65-83. She 
also received the name Pia ; see the coins and C./.L., vi. 
1019 = Dessau, 7ns. Sel, 382. 

5 After his victory over the Quadi in 174; see Dio, Ixxi. 
10, 5. The title appears on her coins issued both before and 
after her deification ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 149 f., Nos. 159-167. 



private citizen and a philosopher at all the stadia, 
temples, and in fact everywhere. And although the 
citizens of Alexandria had been outspoken in wishing 
Cassius success, he forgave everything and left his 
daughter among them. And now, in the village of 
Halala, in the foothills of Mount Taurus, he lost 
his wife Faustina, who succumbed to a sudden ill- 176 
ness. 1 He asked the senate to decree her divine 
honours and a temple ; and likewise delivered a 
eulogy of her, although she had suffered grievously 
from the reputation of lewdness. 2 Of this, however, 
Antoninus was either ignorant or affected ignorance. 
He established a new order of Faustinian girls 3 in 
honour of his dead wife, expressed his pleasure at her 
deification by the senate, 4 and because she had accom- 
panied him on his summer campaign, called her 
" Mother of the Camp ". 5 And besides this, he made 
the village where Faustina died a colony, and there 
built a temple in her honour. This, however, was 
afterwards consecrated to Elagabalus. 6 

With characteristic clemency, he suffered rather 
than ordered the execution of Cassius, while Helio- 
dorus, the son of Cassius, was merely banished, and 
others of his children exiled but allowed part of their 
father's property. 7 Cassius' sons, moreover, were 
granted over half of their father's estate and were 
enriched besides with sums of gold and silver, while 
the women of the family were presented with jewels. 
Indeed, Alexandria, Cassius' daughter, and Drunci- 
anus, his son-in-law, were allowed to travel wherever 

6 The sun-god of Emesa in Syria, whose worship was in- 
troduced into Rome by the Emperor Elagabalus ; see Carac., 
xi. 7 ; Hel, i. 5 f. 

7 Of. Av. Cass., ix. 2-4. 



potestatem haberent commendati amitae marito. 
13 doluit denique Cassium exstinctum, dicens voluisse se 
sine senatorio sanguine imperium transigere. 

XXVII. Orientalibus rebus ordinatis Athenis fuit et 

initia l Cereris 2 adiit, ut se innocentem probaret, et 

2 sacrarium solus 3 ingressus est. revertens ad Italiam 

Snavigio tempestatem gravissimam passus est. per 

Bruiidisium veniens in Italiam togam et ipse sumpsit et 

milites togatos esse iussit, nee umquam sagati fuerunt 

4 sub eo milites. Romam ut venit triumphavit. et inde 4 

5 Lavinium profectus est. Commodum deinde sibi 
collegam in tribuniciam potestatem iuiixit, congiarium 
populo dedit et spectacula mirifica ; dein civiliamulta 

Gcorrexit. gladiatorii muneris sumptus modum fecit. 
7sententia Platonis semper in ore illius fuit, florere 

civitates si aut philosophi imperarent aut imperantes 
8 philosophareiitur. filio suo Bruttii Praesentis filiam 

iunxit iiuptiis celebratis exemplo privatorum, quare 

etiam congiarium dedit populo. 

1 So Novak ; initalia P ; edd. initialia, . with Salm. 
*ceterisP. s solus Lessing with Gas.; solum P, Peter. 

4 et inde P ; inde Lessing ; exinde edd. 

1 Of. c. xxv. 6. 

2 As Hadrian had done ; see Hadr., xiii. 1. 

3 See Hadr., xxii. 2-3. His return was commemorated 
by coins with the legend Fort(una) Red(ux) ; see Cohen, iii 2 , 
p. 22, No. 210. 

4 i.e., while they were in Italy. 

5 See note to c. xvii. 3. 

6 On the significance of this appointment see Pius, iv. 8 
and note. It is commemorated on coins of Commodus of 
177; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 326 f., Nos. 733-738. 

7 According to Dio, Ixxi. 32, 1, each citizen received eight 



they wished, and were even put under the protection 
of the Emperor's uncle by marriage. And further 
than this, he grieved at Cassius' death, saying that 
he had wished to complete his reign without shed- 
ding the blood of a single senator. 1 

XXVI I. After he had settled affairs in the East he Sept., 17< 
came to Athens, and had himself initiated into the 
Eleusinian mysteries 2 in order to prove that he was 
innocent of any wrong-doing, and he entered the 
sanctuary unattended. Afterwards, when returning 
to Italy, he encountered a violent storm on the way. 
Then, reaching Italy by way of Brundisium, he 
donned the toga 3 and bade his troops do likewise, 
nor indeed during his reign were the soldiers ever 
clad in the military cloak. 4 When he reached Nov., 176 
Rome he triumphed, 5 then hastened to Lavinium. 
Presently he appointed Commodus his colleague in 177 
the tribunician power, 6 bestowed largess upon the 
people, 7 and gave marvellous games ; shortly there- 
after he remedied many civil abuses, and set a limit 
to the expense of gladiatorial shows. Ever on his 
lips was a saying of Plato's, that those states pros- 
pered where the philosophers were kings or the kings 
philosophers. He united his son in marriage with 
the daughter of Bruttius Praesens, 8 performing the 
ceremony in the manner of ordinary citizens ; and 
in celebration of the marriage he gave largess to the 

aurei (one for each year of Marcus' absence from Rome), a 
largess greater than had ever been given before. 

8 Her name was Bruttia Crispina; see Dio, Ixxi. 31, 1, 
and C./.L., x. 408 = Dessau, 7ns. SeL, 1117. The marriage 
was commemorated by coins, Cohen, iii 2 , p. 388 f. She was 
afterwards banished on a charge of adultery and put to death 
in exile ; see Dio, Ixxii. 4, 6. 



9 Dein ad conficiendum bellum conversus in adminis- 
tratione eius belli obiit, labentibus iam filii moribus ab 

lOinstituto suo. triennio bellum postea cum Marco- 
mannis Hermunduris Sarmatis Quadis etiam egit l et, 
si anno uno superfuisset, provincias ex his fecisset. 

11 ante biduum quam exspiraret, adnrssis amicis dicitur 
ostendisse seiitentiam de filio eandem quam Philippus 
de Alexandro, cum de hoc male sentiret, addens 
nimium 2 se aegre ferre filium superstitem relinquen- 

12 tem. 3 nam iam Commodus turpem se et cruentum 

XXVIII. Mors autem talis fuit : cum aegrotare 

coepisset, filium advocavit atque ab eo primum petiit ut 

belli reliquias noil contemneret, ne videretur rem pub- 

2licam prodere. et, cum filius ei respondisset cupere 

se primum sanitatem, ut vellet permisit, petens tamen 

ut exspectasset paucos dies, haud 4 simul proficiscere- 

3 tur. deinde abstinuit victu 5 potuque mori cupiens 

4auxitque morbum. sexta die vocatis amicis et ridens 

res humanas, mortem autem contemnens ad amicos 

1 triennio bellum . . . egit Klein would transpose to pre- 
cede Dein . . . ab institute suo. 2 nimium Peter with 
Sa'm. ; minime P. 3 So Gas. ; relinqucns P, whence Novak : 
se aegre ferre quod discederet /. s. relinquens. 4 aut P. 
5 uictu Jordan ; ui P. 

1 He and Commodus left Rome for Pannonia on 3 August, 
178; see Com., xii. 6. This war seems to have been called 
the Expeditio G<rmanica Secunda (C.I.L., ii. 4114, and vi. 
8541 = Dessau, Ins. Sel. t 1140 and 1573) or the Expeditio 
Sarmatica (C.I.L., x. 408 = Dessau, 1117). 

2 Probably uttered during the period of estrangement 
when Alexander was living in Illyricum ; see Plut. , Alex. t ix. 

3 Of. Com. , i. 7-9. 



He then turned his attention to completing the 
war, 1 in the conduct of which he died. During this 
time the behaviour of his son steadily fell away from 
the standard the Emperor had set for himself. For 
three years thereafter he waged war with the Mar- 178-180 
comanni, the Hermunduri, the Sarmatians, and the 
Quadi, and had he lived a year longer he would have 
made these regions provinces. Two days before his 
death, it is said, he summoned his friends and ex- 
pressed the same opinion about his son that Philip 
expressed about Alexander when he too thought 
poorly of his son, 2 and added that it grieved him ex- 
ceedingly to leave a son behind him. For already 
Commodus had made it clear that he was base and 
cruel. 3 

XXVIII. He died in the following manner: 4 
When he began to grow ill, he summoned his son and 
besought him first of all not to think lightly of what 
remained of the war, lest he seem a traitor to the 
state. And when his son replied that his first desire 
was good health, he allowed him to do as he 
wished, 5 only asking him to wait a few days and not 
leave at once. Then, being eager to die, he re- 
frained from eating or drinking, and so aggravated 
the disease. On the sixth day he summoned his 
friends, and with derision for all human affairs and 
scorn for death, said to them : " Why do you weep 

4 His death occurred at Sirmium (Mitrowitz on the Save) 
according to Tertullian, Apologet., 25, at Vindobona (Vienna) 
according to Victor, Caes., xvi. 12, Epit., xvi. 12. According 
to a story preserved by Dio (Ixxi. 83, 4), his pbysicians 
poisoned him in order to please Commodus. It has been 
supposed that he died of the plague (cf. 4 and 8), but 
without very good reason. 

5 Apparently, to abandon the campaign ; cf. Com., iii. 5. 



dixit, " quid de me 1 fletis et non magis de pestilentia 

5 et communi morte cogitatis ? ' et cum illi vellent 
recedere, ingemescens ait, "si iam me dimittitis, 

6 vale vobis dico vos praecedens ". et cum ab eo quae- 
reretur, cui filium commendaret, ille respondit " vo- 

7 bis, si dignus fuerit, et dis immortalibus ". exercitus 
cognita mala valetudine vehementissime dolebant, 

8 quia ilium unice amarunt. septimo die gravatus est 
et solum filium admisit. quern statim dimisit, ne in 

9eum morbus transiret. dimisso filio caput operuit 

10 quasi volens dormire, sed nocte animam efflavit. fer- 

tur filium mori voluisse, cum eum talem videret 

futurum qualis exstitit post eius mortem, ne, ut ipse 

dicebat, similis Neroni Caligulae et Domitiano esset. 

XXIX. Crimini ei datum est quod adulteros uxoris 

promoverit, Tertullum et Tutilium 2 et Orfitum et 

Moderatum, ad varies honores, cum Tertullum et 

2 prandentem cum uxore deprehenderit. de quo mimus 
in scaena praesente Antonino dixit, cum stupidus 
nomen adulteri uxoris a servo quaereret, et ille diceret 
ter "Tullus," et adhuc stupidus quaereret, respondit 

3 ille "iam tibi dixi ter, Tullus dicitur ". et de hoc 
quidem multa populus, multa etiam alii dixerunt 
patientiam Antonini incusantes. 

J So Peter, following Jordan ; quideme P 1 ; quid me P corr. 
2 Tutilium Scaliger ; utilium P. 

1 See note to c. xiii. 3. 

2 Of. Dio, Ixxi. 34, 1, and Herodian, i. 4. 

3 Of. Dio, Ixxi. 33, 4. 4 See note to Com., viii. 1, 



for me, instead of thinking about the pestilence 1 
and about death which is the common lot of us all ? " 
And when they were about to retire he groaned and 
said : "If you now grant me leave to go, I bid you 
farewell and pass on before". And when he was 
asked to whom he commended his son he replied : 
" To you, 2 if he prove worthy, and to the immortal 
gods ". The army, when they learned of his sick- 
ness, lamented loudly, for they loved him singularly. 
On the seventh day he was weary and admitted 
only his son, and even him he at once sent away in 
fear that he would catch the disease. And when his 
son had gone, he covered his head as though he 
wished to sleep and during the night he breathed 
his last. 3 It is said that he foresaw that after his 17 Mar., 
death Commodus would turn out as he actually did, 1 
and expressed the wish that his son might die, lest, 
as he himself said, he should become another Nero, 
Caligula, or Domitian. 

XXIX. It is held to Marcus' discredit that he 
advanced his wife's lovers, Tertullus and Tutilius 4 
and Orfitus and Moderatus, to various offices of 
honour, although he had caught Tertullus in the very 
act of breakfasting with his wife. In regard to this 
man the following dialogue was spoken on the stage 
in the presence of Antoninus himself. The Fool 
asked the Slave the name of his wife's lover and 
the Slave answered ."Tullus" three times; and 
when the Fool kept on asking, the Slave replied, 
" 1 have already told you thrice Tullus is his name". 5 
But the city-populace and others besides talked a 
great deal about this incident and found fault with 
Antoninus for his forbearance. 

3 Ter-tullus means " Thrice-Tullus ". 



4 Ante tempus sane mortis, priusquam ad bellum 
Marcomannicum rediret, in Capitolio iuravit iiullum 
senatorem se sciente occisum, cum etiam rebelliones 

5 dixerit se servaturum fuisse si scisset. nihil enim 
magis et timuit et deprecatus est quam avaritiae 

6 famam, de qua se multis epistulis purgat. dederuiit 
et vitio quod fictus l fuisset nee tarn simplex quam 

7 videretur, aut quam vel Pius vel Verus fuisset. de- 
derunt etiam crimini quod aulicam adrogantiam 
confirmaverit summovendo amicos a societate com- 
muni et a conviviis. 

8 Parentibus consecrationem decrevit. am'cos paren- 
tum etiam mortuos statuis ornavit. 

9 Suffragatoribus non cito credidit. sed semper diu 
quaesivit quod erat verum. 

10 Enisa est Fabia ut Faustina mortua in eius matri- 
monium coiret. sed ille concubinam sibi adscivit 
procuratoris uxoris suae filiam, ne tot liberis super- 
duceret novercam. 

1 fictus Novak; d uictus P; effictus Peter with Erasmus. 

1 See c. x. 6 ; xxv. 5-6 ; xxvi. 13. 

2 He had been betrothed to her in his youth ; see c. iv. 5. 



Previous to his death, and before he returned to 
the Marcomannic war, he swore in the Capitol that 
no senator had been executed with his knowledge 
and consent, and said that had he known he would 
have spared even the insurgents. 1 Nothing did he 
fear and deprecate more than a reputation for 
covetousness, a charge of which he tried 'to clear 
himself in many letters. Some maintain and held 
it a fault that he was insincere and not as guileless 
as he seemed, indeed not as guileless as either Pius 
or Verus had been. Others accused him of en- 
couraging the arrogance of the court by keeping 
his friends from general social intercourse and from 

His parents were deified at his command, and 
even his parents' friends, after their death, he 
honoured with statues. 

He did not readily accept the version of those 
who were partisans in any matter, but always searched 
long and carefully for the truth. 

After the death of Faustina, Fabia 2 tried to 
manoeuvre a marriage with him. But he took a con- 
cubine instead, the daughter of a steward of his wife's, 
rather than put a stepmother over so many children. 



I. Scio plerosque ita vitam Marci ac Veri litteris 
atque historiae dedicasse ut priorem Verum iiitiman- 
dum legentibus darent, non imperandi secutos l or- 

2 dinem sed vivendi ; ego vero, quod prior Marcus 
imperare coepit, dein Verus, qui superstite periit 
Marco, priorem Marcum dehinc Verum credidi cele- 

Igitur Lucius Ceionius Aelius 2 Commodus Verus 
Antoninus, qui ex Hadriani voluntate Aelius appella- 
tus est, ex Antoniiii coniunctioiie Verus et Antoninus, 
neque inter bonos neque inter malos principes ponitur. 

4 quern constat non inhorruisse vitiis, non abundasse 
virtutibus, vixisse deinde non in suo libero principatu 
sed sub Marco in simili ac paris 3 maiestatis imperio, 
a cuius secta lascivia morum et vitae licentioris nimie- 

1 secutus P 1 ; secuti sunt P corr. 2 caelius P. 3 pari P. 

l i.e. Marcus succeeded to the throne, and then associated 
Verus with himself as partner in the imperial power ; see 
Marc., vii. 5. 

2 He never bore all these names at the same time. For 
his names before and after his adoption by Pius see note to 
Hadr. xxiv. 1. 

3 Cf. AeL, vii. 2. It would be more accurate to say that he 





I. Most men, I well know, who have enshrined in 
literature and history the lives of Marcus and Verus, 
have made Verus known to their readers first, follow- 
ing the order, not of their reigns, but of their lives. 
I, however, have thought, since Marcus began to rule 
first and Verus only afterwards l and Verus died while 
Marcus still lived on, that Marcus' life should be 
related first, and then that of Verus. 

Now, Lucius Ceionius Aelius Commodus Verus 
Antoninus 2 called Aelius by the wish of Hadrian, 3 
Verus and Antoninus because of his relationship to 
Antoninus 4 is not to be classed with either the 
good or the bad emperors. For, in the first place, it 
is agreed that if he did not bristle with vices, no 
more did he abound in virtues ; and, in the second 
place, he enjoyed, not unrestricted power, but a 
sovereignty on like terms and equal dignity with 
Marcus, from whom he differed, however, as far as 
morals went, both in the laxity of his principles and 

received the name Aelius when he was adopted by Pius, who 
had received it on his adoption by Hadrian. 
4 Of. Marc., vii. 7. 



5tate dissensit. erat enim morum simplicium et qui 
adumbrare nihil posset. 

6 Huic naturalis pater fuit Lucius Helius Verus, qui 
ab Hadriano adoptatus primus Caesar est dictus et in 

7 eadem statione constitutus periit. avi ac proavi et 

8 item maiores plurimi consulares. natus est Lucius 
Romae in praetura patris sui XVIII kal. lanuariarum 

9 die quo et Nero, qui rerum potitus est. origo e us 
paternapleraque ex Etruria fuit, materna ex Faventia. 

II. Hac prosapia genitus patre ab Hadriano adoptato 
in familiam Aeliam devenit morcuoque patre Caesare 

2 in Hadriani familia remansit. a quo Aurelio datus 
est adoptandus, cum sibi ille Pium filium Marcum 

3 nepotem esse voluisset posteritati satis providens, et 
ea quidem lege ut filiam Pii Verus acciperet, quae 
data est Marco idcirco quia hie adhuc impar videbatur 

4aetate, ut in Marci vita exposuimus. duxit autern 
uxorem Marci filiam Lucillam. educatus est in domo 

5 Tiberiana. audivit Scaurinum grammaticum Latinum, 
Scauri filium, qui grammaticus Hadriani fuit, Graecos 
Telephum l atque Hephaestionem, 2 Harpocrationem, 3 

1 talcplium P. - Hi'faertionem Peter; fertionem P. 

3 arpocrationem P b ; acprocrationcm P*. 

1 See Marc., xvi. 4 ; xxix. 6 ; c. iii. 7. 

2 See AeL, i. 2 and note. 

3 Cf. Hadr., xxiii. 16 ; AeL, iv. 7. 

4 His grandfather was L. Ceionius Commodus, consul in 
106 (cf. AeL, ii. 7) ; his great-grandfather was probably L. 
Ceionius Commodus, consul in 78. 

5 The year is established by c. ii. 10, for he was adopted 
by Pius in Jan., 138 ; the day is confirmed by the Calendar of 
Philocalus; see C.I.L., i 2 , p. 278. 

6 Cf. Suet., Nero, vi. 1. 7 Cf. AeL, ii. 8. 
8 See note to c. i. 3. 


VERUS I. 5 II. 5 

the excessive licence of his life. For in character he 
was utterly ingenuous and unable to conceal a thing. 1 

His real father, Lucius Aelius Verus (who was 
adopted by Hadrian), was the first man to receive the 
name of Caesar 2 and die without reaching a higher 
rank. 3 His grandfathers and great-grandlathers 4 and 
likewise many other of his ancestors were men of 
consular rank. Lucius himself was born at Rome 
while his father was praetor, on the eighteenth day 15 Dec., 
before the Kalends of January, 5 the birthday o 
Nero as well 6 who also held the throne. His 
father's family came mostly from Etruria, his mother's 
from Faventia. 7 

II. Such, then, was his real ancestry ; but when his 
father was adopted by Hadrian he passed into the 
Aelian family, 8 and when his father Caesar died, he 
still stayed in the family of Hadrian. By Hadrian 
he was given in adoption to Aurelius, 9 when Hadrian, 
making abundant provision for the succession, wished 
to make Pius his son and Marcus his grandson ; and 
he was given on the condition that he should espouse 
the daughter of Pius. 10 She was later given to Mar- 
cus, however, as we have related in his life, 11 because 
Verus seemed too much her junior in years, while 
Verus took to wife Marcus' daughter Lucilla. 12 He 
was reared in the House of Tiberius, 13 and received 
instruction from the Latin grammarian Scaurinus (the 
son of the Scaurus 14 who had been Hadrian's teacher 
in grammar), the Greeks Telephus, Hephaestio, 
Harpocratio, the rhetoricians Apollonius, Caninius 

s i.e. Pius; see Marc., v. 1 and note. 
10 See Ael., vi. 9. u Of. Marc., vi. 2. 

12 See Marc., vii. 7 ; ix. 4. 13 See note to Pius, x. 4. 

14 A famous grammaticus ; see Plin., Epist., v. 11 ; Gellius, 
xi. 15, 3. 



rhetores Apollonium, Celerem Caninium et Herodem 
Atticum, Latinum Cornel ium Frontonem ; philo- 

6 sophos Apollonium et Sextum. hos omnes aniavit 
unice, atque ab his invicem dilectus est, nee tameii 

7 ingeniosus ad litteras. amavit autem in pueritia 
versus facere, post orationes. et melior quidera 
orator fuisse dicitur quam poeta, immo, ut verius 

8 dicam, peior poeta quam rhetor, nee desunt qui di- 
cant eum adiutum ingenio amicorum, atque ab aliis 
ei ilia ipsa, qualiacumque sunt, scripta ; si quidem 
multos disertos et eruditos semper secum habuisse 

9 dicitur. educatorem habuit Nicomedem. fuit volup- 
tarius l et nimis laetus et omnibus deliciis ludis iocis 

10 decenter aptissimus. post septimum annum in famil- 
iam Aureliam traductus Marci moribus et auctoritate 
format us est. amavit venatus palaestras et ornnia 

11 exercitia iuventutis. fuitque privatus in domo im- 
peratoria viginti et tribus annis. 

III. Qua die togam virilem Verus accepit, An- 
toninus Pius ea occasione qua patris temp Ium dedi- 

2cabat populo liberalis fuit. mediusque inter Pium et 
Marcum idem resedit, 2 cum quaestor populo munus 

3 daret. post quaesturam statim consul est factus cum 

1 So P ; uoluptuarius Peter. * se resedit P. 

1 See Marc., ii. 4. a See Pius, x. 4; Marc., ii. 7. 

8 See Marc., iii. 2. 4 i.e. was adopted by Pius. 

8 i.e. he did not hold any public office, although it was 
usual to bestow such on young members of the imperial house- 



Celer, 1 Herodes Atticus, and the Latin Cornelius 
Fronto, his teachers in philosophy being Apollonius 2 
and Sextus. 3 For all of these he cherished a deep 
affection, and in return he was beloved by them, and 
this despite his lack of natural gifts in literary studies. 
In his youth he loved to compose verses, and later on 
in life, orations. And, in truth, he is said to have 
been a better orator than poet, or rather, to be strictly 
truthful, a worse poet than speaker. Nor are there 
lacking those who say that he was aided by the wit 
of his friends, and that the things credited to him, 
such as they are, were written by others ; and in fact 
it is said that he did keep in his employ a number of 
eloquent and learned men. Nicomedes was his tutor. 
He was devoted to pleasure, too care-free, and very 
clever, within proper bounds, at every kind of frolic, 
sport, and raillery. At the age of seven he passed 138 
into the Aurelian family, 4 and was moulded by the 
manners and influence of Marcus. He loved hunt- 
ing and wrestling, and indeed all the sports of 
youth. And at the age of three and twenty he was 
still a private citizen 5 in the imperial household. 

III. On the day when Verus assumed the toga virilis 
Antoninus Pius, who on that same occasion dedicated 
a temple to his father, gave largess to the people ; 6 
and Verus himself, when quaestor, 7 gave the people 
a gladiatorial spectacle, at which he sat between Pius 
and Marcus. Immediately after his quaestorship he 154 

hold ; see Pius, vi. 9-10 and note. Verus was evidently 
quaestor in 153. 

6 This was probably in 145, for the toga virilis was assumed 
by Marcus in his fifteenth year ; see Marc. iv. 5. Antoninus' 
coins of 145 bear the legend Liberalitas IV', see Cohen, ii 2 , 
p. 318 f., Nos. 490-501. 

7 See Pius , vi. 10. 



Sextio 1 Laterano. interiectis annis cum Marco fratre 

4 iterum factus est consul, diu autem et 2 privatus 

fuit et ea honorificentia caruit qua Marcus ornabatur. 

5namneque 3 in senatu ante quaesturam sedit neque 

in itinere cum patre sed cum praefecto praetorii 

vectus est nee aliud ei honorificentiae adnomen ad- 

iunctum est quam quod Augusti nlius appellatus est. 

6 fuit studiosus etiam circeiisium baud aliter quam 
gladiatorii muneris. hie cum tantis deliciarum et 
luxuriae quateretur erroribus, ab Antonino videtur ob 
hoc retentus quod eum pater ita in adoptionem Pii 
transire iusserat ut iiepotem appellaret. cui, quan- 

7 turn videtur, ridem exhibuit, non amorem. amavit 
tamen Antoninus Pius simplicitatem ingenii purita- 
temque 4 vivendi hortatusque est ut imitaretur et 

8 fratrem. defuncto Pio Marcus in eum omnia contulit, 
participatu etiam imperatoriae potestatis indulto, 
sibique consortem fecit, cum illi soli senatus detulisset 

IV. Dato igitur imperio et indulta tribunicia potes- 

tate, post consulatus 5 etiam honorem delatum Verum 

vocari praecepit, suum in eum transferens nomen, 

2 cum ante Commodus vocaretur. Lucius quidem 

1 Sextio Peter with Clinton ; sestilio P. a ei P. 3 nam 
neque Jordan ; namque P. 4 puritatemque P, perhaps a 

corruption ; Peter suggests hilaritatemque. 5 post consu- 

latus Petrarch ; proconsulates P 1 ; proconsulate P corr. 

1 See Marc., vi. 3-6. 

2 This is confirmed by inscriptions, e.g., C.I.L., iii. 3843 = 
Dessau, 7ns. SeL, 358. 



was made consul, with Sextius Lateranus as his 
colleague, and a number of years later he was created 
consul for a second term together with his brother 161 
Marcus. For a long time, however, he was merely 
a private citizen and lacked the marks of honour with 
which Marcus was continually being decorated. 1 
For he did not have a seat in the senate until he was 
quaestor, and while travelling, he rode, not with his 
father, but with the prefect of the guard, nor was any 
title added to his name as a mark of honour save only 
that he was called the son of Augustus. 2 He was 
fond of circus-games no less than of gladiatorial 
spectacles. And although he was weakened by such 
follies of debauchery and extravagance, nevertheless 
Pius retained him as a son, for the reason, it seems, 
that Hadrian, wishing to call the youth his grandson, 
had ordered Pius to adopt him. Towards Pius, so 
far as it appears, Verus showed loyalty rather than 
affection. Pius, however, loved the frankness of his 
nature a and his unspoiled way of living, and en- 
couraged Marcus to imitate him in these. When 
Pius died, Marcus bestowed all honours upon Verus, 
even granting him a share in the imperial power ; 
he made him his colleague, moreover, when the 
senate had presented the sovereignty to him alone. 4 
IV. After investing him with the sovereignty, then, 
and installing him in the tribunician power, 5 and after 
rendering him the further honour of the consulship, 
Marcus gave instructions that he be named Verus, 
transferring his own name to him, whereas previously 
he had been called Commodus. 6 In return for this, 

3 See note to c. i. 5. 4 Cf. Marc., vii. 5. 

5 See note to Pius, iv. 7. 

6 On his name see note to Hadr., xxiv. 1. 



Marco vicem reddens si quid susciperet l obsecutus 
3ut legatus proconsul! vel praeses imperatori. iam 
primum enirn pro ambobus 2 ad milites est locutus et 
pro consensu imperil 3 graviter se et ad Marci mores 

4 Ubi vero in Syriam 4 profectus est, non solum 
licentia vitae liberioris sed etiam adulteriis et iu- 

5 venum 5 amoribus infamatus est ; si quidem tantae 
luxuriae fuisse dicitur ut etiam, posteaquam 6 de 
Syria rediit, popinam domi instituerit, ad quam post 
convivium Marci devertebat, 7 ministrantibus sibi 

6 omni genere turpium persoiiarum. fertur et nocte 
perpeti alea lusisse, cum in Syria concepisset id vitium, 
atque in tantum vitiorum Gaianorum et Neronianorum 
ac Vitellianorum fuisse aemulum, ut vagaretur nocte 
per tabernas ac lupanaria obtecto capite cucullione 
vulgari viatorio et comissaretur cum triconibus, com- 
mitteret rixas, dissimulans quis esset, saepeque efflic- 
tum livida facie redisse et in tabernis agnitum, cum 

7 sese absconderet. iaciebat et nummos in popinas 
Smaximos, quibus calices frangeret. amavit et aurigas, 

1 Thus Lenze ; si susciperet obsecutus P ; f si susciperet 
obsecutus Peter. 2 So Damste ; Marcus pro ambobus P. 
s pro consensu imperil Jordan ; pro consensus imperio P. 
4 Syria P, Peter. 5 So Winterfeld ; iuuentis P 1 ; iuuentutis 
P corr. ; incestis Peter. fi posteaquam Petrarch ; quam 
postea P, Peter. 7 deuertcbat P, which Lessing restores ; 
diuertebat edd. 

l i.e. the praetorian guard; see Marc., vii. 9. 

2 See note to Marc., viii. 10. 3 Cf. Marc., viii. 12. 

4 This is told about Nero (Tac., Ann., xiii. 25; Suet., Nero, 
xxvi. ; Dio, Ixi. 8), but not, at least by extant authors, about 


VERUS IV. 3-8 

Verus obeyed Marcus, whenever he entered upon 
any undertaking, as a lieutenant obeys a proconsul 
or a governor obeys the emperor. For, at the begin- 
ning, he addressed the soldiers 1 in his brother's be- 
half as well as his own, and in consideration of the 
joint rule he conducted himself with dignity and 
observed the moral standard that Marcus had set up. 

When he set out for Syria, 2 however, his name was 162 
smirched not only by the licence of an unbridled life, 3 
but also by adulteries and by love-affairs with young 
men. Besides, he is said to have been so de- 
praved as to install a cook-shop in his home after he 
returned from Syria, and to repair thither after 
Marcus' banquets and have all manner of foul persons 
serve him. It is said, moreover, that he used to 
dice the whole night through, after he had taken up 
that vice in Syria, and that he so rivalled Caligula, 
Nero, and Vitellius in their vices as to wander about 
at night through taverns and brothels with only a 
common travelling-cap for a head- covering, revel 
with various rowdies, and engage in brawls, conceal- 
ing his identity the while 4 ; and often, they say, 
when he returned, his face was beaten black and 
blue, and once he was recognised in a tavern even 
though he had hidden himself. It was his wont also 
to hurl large coins into the cook-shops and therewith 
smash the cups. He was very fond also of chario- 
teers, favouring the " Greens ". 5 He held gladiatorial 

Caligula or Vitellius. The same thing is also told about Otho 
(Suet., Otho, ii. 1) and Commodus (Com., iii. 7). 

5 The teams and drivers competing in the races were 
supplied by four racing syndicates, named, after the colours 
which they adopted, the " Greens," the " Blues," the "Beds," 
and the " Whites". Caligula and Nero were also partisans 
of the " Greens " ; see Suet., CaL, Iv. 2, and Nero, xxii. 



9 Prasino favens. gladiatorum etiam frequentius pug- 
nas in convivio habuit, trahens cenas in noctem et in 
toro convivali condormiens, ita ut levatus cum stro- 

10 matibus in cubiculum perferretur. somni fuit permo- 
dici, digestionis facillimae. 

11 Sed Marcus haec omnia bene sciens l dissimulabat 
V. pudore 2 illo ne reprehenderet fratrem. et notissi- 

mum eius quidem fertur tale convivium, in quo primum 
duodecim accubuisse dicitur, cum sit not ssimum 
dictum de numero convivarum " septem convivium, 
2novem vero convicium ". donates autem pueros de 7 
coros qui ministrabant singulis, donates etiam struc- 
tores et lances singulis quibusque, donata et viva ani- 
malia vel cicurum vel ferarum avium vel quadripedum, 3 

3 quorum cibi adpositi erant, donates etiam calices 
singulis per singulas potiones, murrinos et crystallines 
Alexandrines, quotiens bibitum est ; data etiam aurea 
atque argentea pocula et gemmata, coronas quin etiam 
datas lemn ; scis aureis interpositis et alieni temporis 4 
floribus, data et vasa aurea cum unguentis ad speciem 

4 alabastrorum, data et vehicula cum mulabus ac muli- 
onibus cum iuncturis argenteis, ut ita de convivio 

5 redirent. omne autem convivium ; es imatum dicitur 

6 sexagies centenis milibus sestertiorum. hoc convivium 
posteaquam Marcus audivit, ingemuisse dicitur et 

7 doluisse publicum fatum. post convivium lusum 

1 So Oberdick ; omnia nesciens P ; omnia non nesciens Peter. 
2 So Novak ; prae (' K in P) before pudore Peter. 3 So P ; 
guadrupedium B, Peter. 4 So P b ; ahenis temporibus P corr. 

J This saying is not found elsewhere; all the evidence, 
both literary and monumental, shews that nine was the 
normal number. There was an old principle that the number 


VERUS IV. 9 V. 7 

bouts rather frequently at his banquets, and after 
continuing the meal far into the night he would fall 
asleep on the banqueting-couch, so that he had to be 
lifted up along with the covers and carried to his 
bedroom. He never needed much sleep, however ; 
and his digestion was excellent. 

But Marcus, though he was not without knowledge 
of these happenings, with characteristic modesty 
pretended ignorance for fear of censuring his brother. 
V. One such banquet, indeed, became very notori- 
ous. This was the first banquet, it is said, at which 
couches were placed for twelve, although there is a 
very well-known saying about the proper number of 
those present at a banquet that " seven make a dinner, 
nine make a din ". 1 Furthermore, the comely lads 
who did the serving were given as presents, one to 
each guest ; carvers and platters, too, were presented to 
each, and also live animals either tame or wild, winged 
or quadruped, of whatever kind were the meats 
that were served, and even goblets of murra 2 or of 
Alexandrine crystal were presented to each man for 
each drink, as often as they drank. Besides this, he 
gave golden and silver and even jewelled cups, and 
garlands, too, entwined with golden ribbons and 
flowers out of season, golden vases with ointments 
made in the shape of perfume -boxes, and even 
carriages, together with mules and muleteers, and 
trappings of silver, wherewith they might return 
home from the banquet. The estimated cost of the 
whole banquet, it is reported, was six million sesterces. 
And when Marcus heard of this dinner, they say, he 
groaned and bewailed the fate of the empire. After 

at a banquet should not be less than the Graces or greater 
than the Muses ; see Gellius, xiii. 11, 2. 

2 See note to Marc. xvii. 4. 217 


8 est tesseris usque ad lucem. et haec quidem post 
Parthicum bellum, ad quod eum misisse dicitur Mar- 
cus, ne vel in urbe ante oculos omnium peccaret, vel 
ut parsimoniam peregrinatione addisceret, vel ut 
timore bellico emendatior rediret, vel ut se imper- 

9 atoreni esse cognosceret. sed quantum profecerit, 
cum alia vita turn haec quam narravimus cena mon- 

VI. Circensium tantam curam habuit ut frequenter 
e provincia 1 litteras causa circensium et miserit et 

2acceperit. denique etiam praesens et cum Marco 
sedens multas a Venetianis est passus iniurias, quod 

Sturpissime contra eos faveret. nam et Volucri equo 
Prasino aureum simulacrum fecerat, quod secum por- 

4 tabat. cui quidem passas uvas et nucleos in vicem 
hordei in praesepe ponebat, quern sagis fuco tinctis 
coopertum in Tiberianam ad se adduci iubebat, cui 

5 mortuo sepulchrum in Vaticano fecit, in huius equi 
gratiam primum coeperunt equis aurei vel brabia 

epostulari. in tanto autem equus ille honore fuit, ut 
ei a populo Prasinianorum saepe modius aureorum 

7 Profectum eum ad Parthicum bellum Marcus 
Capuam prosecutus est ; cumque hide per omnium 
villas se ingurgitaret, morbo implicitus apud Canusium 

1 e added by Salm. ; prouincialibus P corr. 

1 See note to c. iv. 8. 2 i.e. " Flyer ". 

8 See note to Pius, x. 4. 4 See Marc., viii. 9 L and note. 


VERUS V. 8 VI. 7 

the banquet, moreover, they diced until dawn. And 
all this was done after the Parthian war, whither 
Marcus had sent him, it is said, either that he might 
commit his debaucheries away from the city and the 
eyes of all citizens, or that he might learn economy 
by his travels, or that he might return reformed 
through the fear inspired by war, or, finally, that he. 
might come to realize that he was an emperor. But 
how much good all this did is shown not only by the 
rest of his life, but also by this banquet of which we 
have just told. 

VI. Such interest did Verus take in the circus- 
games that frequently even in his province he des- 
patched and received letters pertaining to them. And 
finally, even at Rome, when he was present and seated 
with Marcus, he suffered many insults from the 
"Blues," 1 because he had outrageously, as they 
maintained, taken sides against them. For he had a 
golden statue made of the " Green " horse Volucer, 2 
and this he always carried around with him ; indeed, 
he was wont to put raisins and nuts instead of barley 
in this horse's manger and to order him brought to 
him, in the House of Tiberius, 3 covered with a blanket 
dyed with purple, and he built him a tomb, when he 
died, on the Vatican Hill. It was because of this horse 
that gold pieces and prizes first began to be demanded 
for horses, and in such honour was this horse held, 
that frequently a whole peck of gold pieces was de- 
manded for him by the faction of the " Greens ". 

When Verus set out for the Parthian war, Marcus 162 
accompanied him as far as Capua 4 ; from there on he 
gorged himself in everyone's villa, and in consequence 
he was taken sick at Canusium, becoming very ill, so 
that his brothor hastened thither to see him. And 



aegrotavit. quo ad eum l visendum frater contendit. 

Smulta in eius vita ignava et sordida etiam belli tem- 

9 pore deteguntur. nam cum interfecto legato, caesis 

legionibus, Syris defectionem cogitantibus, oriens 

vastaretur, ille in Apulia venabatur et apud Corinthum 

et Athenas inter symphonias et cantica navigabat et 

per singulas maritimas civitates Asiae Pamphyliae 

VII. Ciliciaeque clariores voluptatibus immorabatur. An- 

tiochiam posteaquam venit, ipse quidem se luxuriae 

dedidit, duces autem confecerunt Parthicum bellum, 

Statius Priscus et Avidius Cassius et Martius Verus 

per quadriennium, ita ut Babylonem et Mediam per- 

2 venirent et Armenian! vindicarent partumque ipsi 

nomen est Armeniaci, Parthici, Medici, quod etiam 

3 Marco Romae agenti delatum est. egit autem per 
quadriennium Verus hiemem Laodiceae, aestatem 

4 apud Daphnen, reliquam partem Antiochiae. risui 
fuit omnibus Syris, quorum multa ioca in theatro in 

5 eum dicta exstant. vernas in triclinium Saturnalibus 

6 et diebus festis semper admisit. ad Euphraten tamen 
impulsum comitum suorum sequendo 2 profectus est. 

7 Ephesum etiam rediit, ut Lucillam uxorem, missam a 
patre Marco, susciperet, et idcirco maxime ne Marcus 
cum ea in Syriam veniret ac flagitia eius adnosceret. 

1 So Peter ; quod eum P 1 (m later erased). 2 So Peter 2 ; 

inpulsum . . . secunde P 1 ; inpulsu . . . tecum P corr. 

1 Aelius Severianus, governor of Cappadocia ; see note to 
Marc., viii. 6. 

2 Governor of Cappadocia ; he carried on a successful cam- 
paign in Armenia in 164. Later, he informed Marcus of the 
revolt of Avidius Cassius (see Dio, Ixxi. 23), and afterwards 
became Cassius' successor in the governorship of Syria. 

3 See Marc., ix. 1-2 and notes. The Armenian campaign 



now in the course of this war there were revealed 
many features of Verus' life that were weak and base. 
For while a legate was being slain/ while legions 
were being slaughtered, while Syria meditated revolt, 
and the East was being devastated, Verus was hunt- 

O * 

ing in Apulia, travelling about through Athens and 
Corinth accompanied by orchestras and singers, and 
dallying through all the cities of Asia that bordered 
on the sea, and those cities of Pamphylia and Cilicia 
that were particularly notorious for their pleasure- 
resorts. VII. And when he came to Antioch, there 
he gave himself wholly to riotous living. H is generals, 
meanwhile, Statins Priscus, Avidius Cassius, and 
Martius Verus 2 for four years conducted the war un- 
til they advanced to Babylon and Media, and re- 
covered Armenia. 3 He, however, gained the names 
Armeniacus, Parthicus, and Medicus ; and these were 
proffered to Marcus also, who was then living at 
Rome. For four years, moreover Verus passed his 163-166 
winters at Laodicea, his summers at Daphne, and the 
rest of the time at Antioch. 4 As far as the Syrians 
were concerned, he was an object for ridicule, and 
many of the jibes which they uttered against him on 
the stage are still preserved. Always, during the 
Saturnalia and on holidays he admitted his more 
pampered slaves to his dining-room. Finally, how- 
ever, at the insistence of his staff he set out for the 
Euphrates, but soon, in order to receive his wife 
Lucilla, who had been sent thither by her father 
Marcus, 5 he returned to Ephesus, going there chiefly 
in order that Marcus might not come to Syria with 

was the first one, then followed the campaigns in Parthia and 

4 Of. Marc., viii. 12. 5 Cf. Marc., ix. 4. 



nam senatui Marcus dixerat se filiam in Syriam de- 
Sducturum. confecto sane bello regna regibus, pro- 
9 vincias vero comitibus suis regendas dedit. Romam 

inde ad triumphum invitus, quod Syriam quasi regnum 

suum relinqueret, rediit et pariter cum fratre trium- 

phavit, susceptis a senatu nominibus quae in exercitu 
10 acceperat. fertur praeterea ad amicae vulgaris arbit- 

rium in Syria posuisse barbam ; unde in eum a Syris 

multa sunt dicta. 

VIII. Fuit eius fati ut in eas provincias per quas 

rediit Romam usque luem secum deferre videretur. 

2 et nata fertur pestilentia in Babylonia, ubi de templo 
Apollinis ex arcula aurea, quam miles forte inciderat, 
spiritus pestilens evasit, atque inde Parthos orbemque l 

3 complesse. sed hoc non Lucii Veri vitio sed Cassii, 
a quo contra fidem Seleucia, quae ut amicos milites 

4 nostros receperat, expugnata est. quod quidem inter 
ceteros etiam Quadratus, belli Parthici scriptor, in- 
cusatis Seleucenis, qui fidem primi ruperant, purgat. 

5 Habuit haiic reverentiam Marci Verus, ut nomina 

1 urbemgue P. 

1 Verus' coins of 166 bear the legends Pax and Pax 

2 Armenia, Osroene, and probably other client-kingdoms. 
For the coins see note to Marc., ix. 1. 

3 Of. Marc., xii. 8 f. 

4 Armeniacus, Parthicus Maximus, and Medicus; see 
notes to Marc., ix. 1-2. 

5 Probably the famous Panthea ; see Marcus, 
viii. 37 ; Lucian, Imag. t x. ; xx. 

6 Of. Marc., xiii. 3 f. 



her and discover his evil deeds. For Marcus had 
told the senate that he himself would conduct his 
daughter to Syria. Then, after the war was finished, 1 166 
he assigned kingdoms 2 to certain kings, and provinces 
to certain members of his staff, to be ruled, and re- 
turned to Rome for a triumph, 3 reluctantly, however, 
since he was leaving in Syria what almost seemed his 
own kingdom. His triumph he shared with his 
brother, and from the senate he accepted the names 
which he had received in the army. 4 It is said, 
furthermore, that he shaved off his beard while in 
Syria to humour the whim of a low-born mistress* ; 5 
and because of this many things were said against 
him by the Syrians. 

VIII. It was his fate to seem to bring a pestilence 
with him to whatever provinces he traversed on his 
return, and finally even to Rome. 6 It is believed that 
this pestilence originated in Babylonia, where a pes- 
tilential vapour arose in a temple of Apollo from a 
golden casket which a soldier had accidentally cut 
open, and that it spread thence over Parthia and 
the whole world. Lucius Verus, however, is not to 
blame for this so much as Cassius, who stormed 
Seleucia in violation or an agreement, after it had 
received our soldiers as friends. This act, indeed, 
many excuse, and among them Quadratus, 7 the his- 
torian of the Parthian war, who blames the Seleucians 
as the first to break the agreement. 

Such respect did Verus have for Marcus, that on 

7 Asinius Quadratus, author of a history of Rome from 
the foundation of the city to the reign of Severus Alexander; 
see Suidas, s.v. KoSparos. His history of the Parthian wars is 
cited by Stephanus of Byzantium, frag. 12 f. ; see also Av. 
Cass., i. 1. 



quae sibi delata fuerant cum fratre commtmicaret die 
^ triumph!, quern pariter celebrarunt. reversus e 

Parthico bello minore circa fratrem cultu fuit Verus ; 

nam et libertis inhonestius indulsit et multa sine fratre 
' disposuit. his accessit, quod, quasi reges aiiquos ad 

triumphum adduceret, sic histriones eduxit e Syria, 

quorum praecipuus fuit Maximinus, quern Paridis 

8 nomine nuncupavit. villam praeterea exstruxit in Via 
Clodia famosissimam, in qua per multos dies et ipse 
ingenti luxuria debacchatus est cum libertis suis et 
amicis imparibus, 1 quorum praesentiae 2 nulla inerat 

9 reverentia. et Marcum rogavit, qui venit, ut fratri 
venerabilem morum suorum et imitandam. ostenderet 
sanctitudinem, et quinque diebus in eadem villa resi- 
dens cognitionibus continuis operam dedit, aut con- 

lOvivante fratre aut convivia comparante. habuit et 
Agrippum histrionem, cui cognomentum erat Mem- 
phii, quern et ipsum e Syria veluti tropaeum Parthicum 

11 adduxerat. quern Apolaustum nominavit. adduxerat 
secum et fidicinas et tibicines et histriones scurrasque 
mimarios et praestigiatores et omnia mancipiorum 
genera, quorum Syria et Alexandria pascitur voluptate, 
prorsus ut videretur bellum non Parthicum sed hist- 
rionicum confecisse. 

1 So Richter ; paribus P, Peter. 2 praesentiae nulla 

Novak ; praesentia ulla P ; in praesentia nuila Peter. 

1 See note to c. vii. 9. 2 Cf. c. ix. 3-5. 

3 Also mentioned by Fronto. Prin. Hist., p. 209 N. 

4 Running N.W. from Rome through central Etruria, 
branching off from the Via Cassia near Veii. The villa of 
Verus was probably on the Via Cassia, near the modern Acqua 
Traversa, north of the Pons Mulvius. 

5 i.e. "Enjoyable". After his manumission he took the 
name L. Aelius Aurelius Apolaustus Memphiua. He is 



the day of the triumph, which they celebrated to- 
gether, he shared with his brother the names which 
had been granted to himself. 1 After he had returned 
from the Parthian war. however. Verus exhibited less 
regard for his brother; for he pampered his freedmen - 
shamefully, and settled many things without his 


brother's counsel. Besides all this, he brought actors 
out of Syria 8 as proudly as though he were leading 
kings to a triumph. The chief of these was Max.- 
miiius. on whom he bestowed the name Paris. Further- 
more, he built an exceedingly notorious yilla on the 

- * 

Clodian Way. 4 and he-re he not only reyelled himself 
for many days at a time in boundless extravagance 

together With his freedmen and friends of inferior 
rank in whose presence he felt no shame, but he eyen 
invited Marcus. Marcus came, in order to display to 
his brother the purity of his own moral code as 
worthy of respect and imitation, and for rive days, stay- 
ing in the same villa, he busied himself continuously 
with the examination of law-cases, while his brother, 
in the meantime, was either banqueting or preparing 
banquets. Verus maintained also the actor A^rippus, 
surnamed Memphius, whom he had brought with him 
from Syria, almost as a trophy of the Parthian war, 
and named Apolaustus^. 5 He had brought with him, 
too. players of the harp and the Mute, actors and 
jesters from the mimes, juii^ltrs. and all kinds of 
slaves in whose entertainment Syria and Alexandria 
find pleasure, and in such numbers, indeed, that he 
seemed to have concluded a war. not against Parthians, 
but against actors. 


commemorated in numerous inscriptions, and he received 
many local honours in the cities of Italy. He was put to 
death in 139 ; see Com., vii. 1. 


IX. Et hanc vitae diversitatem T atque alia multa 
inter Marcum et Verum simultates fecisse, noil 
aperta veritas indicabat, sed occultus rumor inseverat. 
2verum illud praecipuum quod, cum Libonem quendam 
patruelem suum Marcus legatum in Syriam misisset, 
atque ille se insolentius quam verecundus senator 
efferret, dicens ad fratrem suum se 2 scripturum esse 
si quid 3 forte dubitaret, nee Verus praesens pati pos- 
set, subitoque morbo notis prope veneni exsistentibus 
interisset, visum est nonnullis, non tamen Marco, quod 
eius fraude putaretur occisus. quae res simultatum 
auxit rumorem. 

3 Liberti multum potuerunt apud Verum, ut in vita 
Marci diximus, Geminas et Agaclytus, cui dedit invito 

4 Marco Libonis uxorem. denique nuptiis a Vero 4 

5 celebratis Marcus convivio non interfuit. habuit et 
alios libertos Verus improbos, Coeden et Eclectum 

^ ceterosque. quos omnes Marcus post mortem Veri 
specie honoris abiecit 5 Eclecto retento, qui postca 
Commodum filium eius occidit. 

1 Ad bellum Germanicum, Marcus quod nollet 
Lucium sine se vel ad bellum mittere vel in urbe 
dimitter > causa luxuriae, simul profecti sunt atque 
Aquileiam venerunt invitoque Lucio Alpes transgress!, 

1 haec . . . diuersitas P. 2 fratrem suum se Peter ; fra- 
il es suos P. *qui P. 4 ab Vero Peter; habero P. 
5 adiccit P. 

1 Probably the M. Annius Libo named in a senatus con- 
sultum of the time of Pius ; see C.I.L., iii. p. 70GO. 

2 Marc., xv. 2. 

3 Cf. Com., xv. 2. The identification, however, of Verus' 
freedman with Eclectus, the murderer of Commodus, has 
been doubted. 

4 Cf. Marc., xiv. and notes. 


VERUS IX. 2-7 

IX. This diversity in their manner of life, as well as 
many other causes, bred dissensions between Marcus 
and Verus or so it was bruited about by obscure 
rumours although never established on the basis of 
manifest truth. But, in particular, this incident was 
mentioned : Marcus sent a certain Libo, 1 a cousin 
of his, as his legate to Syria, and there Libo acted 
more insolently than a respectful senator should, 
saying that he would write to his cousin if he 
happened to need any advice. But Verus, who was 
there in Syria, could not suffer this, and when, a little 
later, Libo died after a sudden illness accompanied 
by all the symptoms of poisoning, it seemed probable 
to some people, though not to Marcus, that Verus 
was responsible for his death ; and this suspicion 
strengthened the rumours of dissensions between the 

Verus' freedmen, furthermore, had great influence 
with him, as we related in the Life of Marcus, 2 
namely Geminas and Agaclytus. To the latter of 
these he gave the widow of Libo in marriage against 
the wishes of Marcus ; indeed, when Verus celebrated 
the marriage ceremony Marcus did not attend the 
banquet. Verus had other unscrupulous freedmen 
as well, Coedes and Eclectus and others. All of these 
Marcus dismissed after Verus' death, under pretext 
of doing them honour, with the exception of Eclectus, 
and lie afterwards slew Marcus' son, Commodus. 3 

When the German war broke out, the two Em- 166 
perors went to the front together, for Marcus wished 
neither to send Lucius to the war alone, nor yet, be- 
cause of his debauchery, to leave him in the city. 
When they had come to Aquileia, 4 they proceeded to 
cross the Alps, though this was contrary to Lucius' 



8 cum Verus apud Aquileiam tantum venatus 1 con- 
vivatu c que esset, Marcus autem omnia prospexisset. 

9de quo bello quid 2 per legates barbarorum pacem 
petentium, quid 3 per duces nostros gestum est, in 

10 Marci vita plenissime disputatum est. composito 
autem bello in Pannonia urguente Lucio Aquileiam 
redierunt, 4 quodque 5 urbanas desiderabat Lucius 

11 voluptates in urbem festinatum 6 est. sed non longe 
ab Altino subito in vehiculo morbo, quern apoplexin 
vocant, correptus Lucius depositus e vehiculo detracto 
sanguine Altinum perductus, cum triduo mutus 
vixisset, apud Altinum periit. 

X. Fuit sermo quod et socrum Faustinam incestas- 

set. et dicitur Faustinae socrus dolo aspersis ostreis 

veneno exstinctus esse, idcirco quod consuetudinem 

2quam cum matre habuerat filiae prodidisset. quamvis 

et ilia fabula quae in Marci vita posita est abhorrens 

3 a talis viri vita sit exorta, cum multi etiam uxori eius 
flagitium mortis adsignent, et idcirco quod Fabiae 
nimium indulserat Verus, cutus potentiam uxor 

4 Lucilla 7 ferre non posset, tanta sane familiaritas 
inter Lucium et Fabiam sororem fuit, ut 8 hoc quoque 
usurpaverit rumor quod inierint consilium ad Marcum 

56 vita tollendum, idque cum esset per Agaclytum 

1 uectatus P. " quid Novak ; quidem P ; quidcm quid 

Peter. "'quidem P. 4 redicret P b ; rediret P a . 5 quoque P. 
6 festincitiimPeter; destination P. 7 Lucilla Mommsen ; 

lucii P ; uel Marci P corr. 8 ut Novak ; ut si P ; uti Peter. 

.j xiv. 3-4. 

8 In Venetia, at the mouth of the Plavis (Piave) ; its modern 
name is Altino. 


VERUS IX. 8 X. 5 

desire ; for as long as they remained in Aquileia he did 
nothing but hunt and banquet while Marcus made 
all the plans. As far as this war was concerned, we 
have very fully discussed in the Life of Marcus l what 
was accomplished by the envoys of the barbarians 
when they sued for peace and what was accomplished 
by our generals. When the war in Pannonia was 
settled, they returned to Aquileia at Lucius' insistence, 
and then, because he yearned for the pleasures of 
the city, they hastened cityward. But not far from 
Altinum, Lucius, while in his carriage, was suddenly 
stricken with the sickness which they call apoplexy, 
and after he had been set down from his carriage 
and bled, he was taken to Altinum, 2 and here he 169 
died, after living for three days unable to speak. 

X. There was gossip to the effect that he had 
violated his mother-in-law Faustina. And it is said 
that his mother-in-law killed him treacherously by 
having poison sprinkled on his oysters, because he 
had betrayed to the daughter 3 the amour he had 
had with the mother. However, there arose also 
that other story related in the Life of Marcus, 4 one 
utterly inconsistent with the character of such a man. 
Many, again, fastened the crime of his death upon 
his wife, since Verus had been too complaisant to 
Fabia, and her power his wife Lucilla could not en- 
dure. Indeed, Lucius and his sister Fabia did be- 
come so intimate that gossip went so far as to claim 
that they had entered into a conspiracy to make 
away with Marcus, and that when this was betrayed 
to Marcus by the freedman Agaclytus, Faustina cir- 

3 Lucilla. 

4 Apparently the one contained in Marc., xv. 5, and re- 
peated in the appendix to this biography, c. xi. 2. 



libertum proditum Marco, anteventum 1 Lucium 
a Faustina, 2 ne praeveniret. 

6 Fuit decorus corpore, vultu geniatus, barba prope 
barbarice demissa, procerus et fronte in supercilia ad- 

7 ductiore venerabilis. dicitur sane tantam habuisse 
curam flaventium capillorum, ut capiti auri ramenta 
respergeret, quo magis coma inluminata flavesceret. 

8 lingua impeditior fuit, aleae cupidissimus, vitae 
semper luxuriosae atque in pluribus Nero praeter 

9 crudelitatem et ludibria. habuit inter alium luxuriae 
apparatum calicem crystallinum nomine Volucrem ex 
eius equi nomine quern dilexit, humanae potionis 3 
modum supergressum. 

XI. Vixit annis quadraginta duobus. imperavit 
cum fratre annis undecim. inlatumque eius corpus 
est Hadriani sepulchro, in quo et Caesar pater eius 
naturalis sepultus est. 

2 Nota est fabula, quam Marci non capit vita, quod 
partem vulvae veneno inlitam, cum earn exsecuisset 
cultro una parte venenato, Marcus Vero porrexerit. 

3 sed hoc 4 nefas est de Marco putari, quamvis Veri et 

4 cogitata et facta mereantur. quod nos non in medio 
relinquemus sed totum purgatum confutatumque 
respuimus, cum adhuc post Marcum praeter vestram 
clementiam, Diocletiane Auguste, imperatorem talem 
nee adulatio videatur potuisse confingere. 

l ante aduentum P. 2 a Faustina Mommsen; a omitted 
in P. 3 positionis P. 4 se ad hoc P. 

J Of. Dio, Ixxi. 3, 1 = Zonaras, xii. 2. 2 See c. vi. 3. 

3 Evidently an error, for he was born 15 Dec., 130 (c. i. 
8), and died in Jan., 169. 

4 An error; his reign was 161-169. 

5 Of. More., xx. 1 and note. 6 See note to c. x. 2. 


VERUS X. 6 XI. 4 

cumvented Lucius in fear that he might circumvent 
her. 1 

Verus was well-proportioned in person and genial 
of expression. His beard was allowed to grow long, 
almost in the style of the barbarians ; he was tall, 
and stately in appearance, for his forehead projected 
somewhat over his eyebrows. He took such pride 
in his yellow hair, it is said, that he used to sift 
gold-dust on his head in order that his hair, thus 
brightened, might seem yellower. He was some- 
what halting in speech, a reckless gambler, ever of 
an extravagant mode of life, and in many respects, 
save only that he was not cruel or given to acting, 
a second Nero. Among other articles of extrava- 
gance he had a crystal goblet, named Volucer after 
that horse of which he had been very fond, 2 that 
surpassed the capacity of any human draught. 

XI. He lived forty- two years, 3 and, in company 
with his brother, reigned eleven. 4 His body was 
laid in the Tomb of Hadrian, 5 where Caesar, his real 
father, was also buried. 

There is a well-known story, 6 which Marcus' 
manner oflife will not warrant, that Marcus handed 
Verus part of a sow's womb which he had poisoned 
by cutting it with a knife smeared on one side with 
poison. But it is wrong even to think of such a deed 
in connection with Marcus, although the plans and 
deeds of Verus may have well deserved it ; nor shall 
we leave the matter undecided, but rather reject it 
discarded and disproved, since from the time of 
Marcus onward, with the exception of your Clemency, 
Diocletian Augustus, not even flattery, it seems, has 
been able to fashion such an emperor. 




I. Avidius Cassius, ut quidam volunt, ex familia 
Cassiorum fuisse dicitur, per matrem tamen ; homine 
novo 2 genitus Avidio Severo, qui crdines duxerat et 

2 post ad summas dignitates pervenerat. cuius Quad- 
ratus in historiis meminit, et quidem graviter, cum 
ilium summum virum et necessarium rei publicae 

Sadserit et apud ipsum Marcum praevalidum. nam 
iam eo imperante perisse tatali sorte perhibetur. 

4 Hie ergo Cassius ex familia, ut diximus, Cassiorum, 
qui in curia in C. lulium 3 conspiraverant, oderat 
tacite principatum nee ferre poterat imperatorium 
nomen dicebatque esse eo gravius nomen 4 imperii, 
quod non posset e re publica tolli nisi per alterum 

: In P the 9th Vita, i.e. following Pertinax. 2 homine 

nouo genitus Klebs, Prosop. i. p. 188 ; homine omitted in P ; 
auo genitus Peter (vulg.). 2 So P corr. ; in ciuilium P 1 . 

4 Thus Peter with Mommsen ; esse gramus nomine P. 

ir The honorary title of Vir Clarissimus was regularly 
borne by senators during the later empire. 

3 In reality his name was C. Avidius Heliodorus. A native 
of Cyrrhus in Syria (see Dio, Ixxi. 22, 2), he was made im- 
perial secretary by Hadrian, and was prefect of Egypt under 
Antoninus; see C.I.L., iii. 6025= Dessau, Ins. Set., 2615. 
He is probably to be identified with tihephilosophus Heliodorus, 
mentioned in Hadr., xvi. 10. The expression novus homo 





Of the Senatorial Order. 1 

I. Avidius Cassius is said, according to the state- 
ments of some, to have belonged to the family of the 
Cassii, but only on his mother's side. His father was 
Avidius Severus, 2 the first of the family to hold public 
office, who at first commanded in the ranks, 3 but later 
attained to the highest honours of the state. Quadra - 
tus 4 mentions him in his history, and certainly with 
all respect, for he declares that he was a very distin- 
guished man, both indispensable to the state and in- 
fluential with Marcus himself; for he succumbed to 
the decrees of fate, it is said, when Marcus had 
already begun to rule. 

Now Cassius, sprung, as we have said, from the 
family of the Cassii who conspired against Gaius 
Julius, 5 secretly hated the principate and could not 
brook even the title of emperor, saying that the name 
of empire was all the more onerous because an 

was regularly used, as here, to denote the man who was the 
first of his family to hold public office. 

3 As chief centurion of a legion, or primus pilus ; the ex- 
pression is regularly used in this sense ; see Maxim., iv. 4 ; 
Firm., xiv. 2 ; Prob., iii. 2. 

4 See note to Ver., viii. 4. 

5 i.e. C. Cassius Longinus and C. Cassius Parmensis. 



^ imperatorem. denique temptasse in pueritia dicitur 
extorquere etiam Pio principatura, sed per patrem, 
virum sanctum et gravem, adfectionem tyrannidis 
latuisse, habitum tamen semper a ducibus suspectum. 

} Vero autem ilium parasse insidias, ipsius Veri epistula 
indicat, quam inserui. ex epistula Veri : " Avidius 
Cassius avidus est, quantum et mihi videtur et iam 1 
sub avo meo, patre tuo, innotuit, imperii ; quern velim 

8 observari iubeas. omnia ei nostra displicent, 2 opes 
non mediocres parat, litteras nostras ridet. te phil- 
osopham aniculam, me luxuries um morionem vocat. 
vide quid agendum sit. ego hominem non odi, sed 
vide ne tibi et liberis tuis non bene consulas, 3 cum 
talem inter praecinctos habeas qualem milites libenter 
*- audiunt, libenter vident." rescriptum Marci de 
Avidio Cassio : "Epistulam tuam legi, sollicitam 
potius quam 4 imperatoriam et non nostri temporis. 

2 nam si ei divinitus debetur imperium, non poterimus 
interficere, etiamsi velimus. scis enim proavi tui 
dictum: 'successorem suum nullus occidit'. sin 
minus, ipse sponte sine nostra crudelitate fatales 

3 laqueos incident, adde quod non possumus reum 
facere, quern et nullus accusat et, ut ipse dicis, milites 

1 inde, following iam in P, removed by Novak. 2 omnia 
ei nostra displicent P corr. (edipliceni P 1 ) ; omnia enim nostra 
ei d. Peter. 3 consu1at P. 4 quam omitted by P 1 , added 
by P corr. 

1 It is now generally agreed that the letters and other al- 
leged documents contained in this vita are pure forgeries, and 
the same is in general true about the other documents of this 
sort in the Historia Augusta; see Intro., p. xx. 

2 Pius. The allusion to Pius as the grandfather of Verus 
is in itself enough to prove the letter a forgery, since it pre- 
supposes that Verus was adopted by Marcus, which was not 



emperor could not be removed from the state except 
by another emperor. In his youth, they say, he tried 
to wrest the empire from Pius too, but through his 
father, a righteous and worthy man, he escaped de- 
tection in this attempt to seize the throne, though he 
continued to be suspected by Pius' generals. Against 
Verus he organized a genuine conspiracy, as a letter 
of Verus' own, which I append, makes clear. Extract 
from the letter of Verus l : " Avidius Cassius is avid 
for the throne, as it seems to me and as was well- 
known in the reign of my grandfather, 2 your father ; 
I wish you would have him watched. Everything we 
do displeases him, he is amassing no inconsiderable 
wealth, and he laughs at our letters. He calls you 
a philosophical old woman, me a half-witted spend- 
thrift. Consider what should be done. I do not dis- 
like the man, but look to it lest you take too little 
heed for yourself and for your children when you 
keep in active service a man whom the soldiers are 
glad to hear and glad to see." II. Marcus' answer 
concerning Avidius Cassius ; " I have read your letter, 
which is that of a disquieted man rather than that of 
a general, and one not worthy of our times. For if 
the empire is divinely decreed to be his, we cannot 
slay him even should we so desire. Remember what 
your great-grandfather 3 used to say, 'No one ever 
kills his successor '. And if this is not the case, he 
will of himself fall into the toils of fate without any 
act of cruelty on our part. Add that we cannot judge 
a man guilty whom no one has accused, and whom, 
as you say yourself, the soldiers love. Furthermore, 

the case ; see note to Marc., v. 1. The forger is not consistent, 
for in c. ii. 5 Hadrian is referred to as Verus' grandfather. 
3 Trajan. 



4amant. deinde in causis maiestatis haec natura est 
ut videantur vim pati etiam quibus probatur. scis 
enim ipse quid avus tuus Hadrianus dixerit : ' misera 
condicio imperatorura, quibus de adfectata 1 tyrannide 

6 nisi occisis non potest credi '. eius autem exemplum 
ponere malui 2 quam Domitiani, qui hoc primus dixisse 
fertur. tyrannorum enim etiam bona dicta noil habent 

7tantum auctoritatis quantum debent. sibi ergo 
habeat suos mores, maxime cum bonus dux sit et 

Sseverus et fortis et rei publicae necessarius. nam 
quod dicis, liberis meis cavendum esse morte illius ; 
plane liberi mei pereant, si magis amari merebitur 
Avidius quam illi, et si rei publicae expediet, Cassium 
vivere quam liberos Marci." haec de Cassio Verus, 
haec Marcus. 

III. Sed nos hominis naturam et mores breviter ex- 
plicabimus. neque enim plura de his sciri possunt, 
quorum vitam et inlu*-trare nullus audet eorum causa 

2 a quibus oppressi fuerint. addemus autem quemad- 
modum ad imperium venerit et quemadmodum sit 

Soccisus et ubi victus. proposui enim, Diocletiane 
Auguste, omnes qui imperatorum nomen sive iusta 
causa sive iniusta 3 habuerunt, in litteras mittere, ut 
omnes purpuratos Augustos cognosceres. 

4 Fuit his moribus, ut nonnumquam trux et asper 
videretur, aliquando mitis et lenis, saepe religiosus, 
alias contemptor sacrorum, avidus vini item abstinens, 

1 adfectata Petschenig ; adfectu P ; adfecta Peter. 3 malui 
omitted by P 1 , supplied by P corr. 3 sine iusta causa sine 
iniusta Novak ; sine iniusta P 1 ; siue iuste sine iniuste P 
corr. ; siue iusta ex causa siue iniusta Peter with Mommsen. 

It is attributed to Domitian in Suet., Dom., xxi. 
a Of. Ael t i. 1. 



in cases of treason it is inevitable that even those who 
have been proved guilty seem to suffer injustice. For 
you know yourself what your grandfather Hadrian 
said, ' Unhappy is the lot of emperors, who are never 
believed when they accuse anyone of pretending to the 
throne, until after they are slain '. I have preferred, 
moreover, to quote this as his, rather than as Domi- 
tian's, 1 who is reported to have said it first, for good 
sayings when uttered by tyrants have not as much 
weight as they deserve. So let Cassius keep his own 
ways, especially as he is an able general and a stern 
and brave man, and since the state has need of him. 
And as for your statement that I should take heed for 
my children by killing him, by all means let my 
children perish, if Avidius be more deserving of love 
than they and if it profit the state for Cassius to live 
rather than the children of Marcus." Thus did Verus, 
thus did Marcus, write about Cassius. 

III. But let us briefly portray the nature and char- 
acter of the man ; for not very much can be known 
about those men whose lives no one has dared to 
render illustrious through fear of those by whom they 
were overcome. We will add, moreover, how he 
came to the throne, and how he was killed, and where 
he was conquered. .For I have undertaken, Diocle- 
tian Augustus, to set down in writing the lives of all 
who have held the imperial title 2 whether rightfully 
or without right, in order that you may become ac- 
quainted with all the emperors that have ever worn 
the purple. 

Such was his character, then, that sometimes he 
seemed stern and savage, sometimes mild and gentle, 
often devout and again scornful of sacred things, 
addicted to drink and also temperate, a lover of eat- 



cibi adpetens et mediae patiens, Veneris cupidus et 

5 castitatis amator. nee defuerunt qui ilium Catilinam 

vocarent, cum et ipse se ita gauderet appellari, addens 

futurum se Sergium si dialogistam occidisset, An- 

Gtoninum hoc nomine significans., qui tantum enituit 

in philosophia, ut iturus ad bellum Marcomannicum, 

timentibus cunctis ne quid fatale proveniret, rogatus 

sit non adulatione sed serio, ut praecepta philosophiae 

7 ederet. nee ille timuit, sed per ordinem paraeneseos 1 

8 per triduum disputavit. fuit praeterea disciplinae 
militaris Avidius Cassius tenax et qui se Marium dici 

IV. Quoniam de severitate illius dicere coepimus, 
multa exstant crudelitatis potius quam severitatis eius 

2 indicia, nam primum milites qui aliquid provincialibus 
tulissent per vim, in illis ipsis locis, in quibus peccave- 

3 rant, in crucem sustulit. primus etiam id suppliciigenus 
mvenit, ut stipitem grandem poneret pedum octoginta 
et centum 2 et a summo usque ad imum damnatos 
ligaret et ab imo focum adponeret incensisque aliis 

4alios fumo, cruciatu, timore etiam necaret. idem 
denos catenates in profluentem mergi iubebat vel in 

5 mare, idem multis desertoribus manus excidit, aliis 
crura incidit ac poplites, dicens maius exemplum esse 

1 The words hoc est praeceptionum, which follow paraeneseos 
in P, removed by Gas. 2 The words id est materiam, 

following centum in P, removed by Gas. 

1 Apparently in allusion to Catiline's plan for the murder 
of Cicero, although Sallust's description of Catiline seems also 
to have been in the writer's mind. 

2 The T& jy tavrov in 12 books. 


ing yet able to endure hunger, a devotee of Venus 
and a lover of chastity. Nor were there lacking those 
\vho called him a second Catiline, 1 and indeed he re- 
joiced to hear himself thus called, and added that he 
would really be a Sergius if he killed the philoso- 
phizer, meaning by that name Antoninus. For the 
emperor was so illustrious in philosophy that when 
he was about to set out for the Marcomannic war, 
and everyone was fearful that some ill-luck might be- 
fall him, he was asked, not in flattery but in all 
seriousness, to publish his " Precepts of Philoso- 
phy " ; 2 and he did not fear to do so, but for three 
days discussed the books of his " Exhortations " one 
after the other. Moreover, Avidius Cassius was a 
strict disciplinarian and wished to be called a 
Marius. 3 

IV. And since we have begun to speak of his strict- 
ness, there are many indications of what must be called 
savagery, rather than strictness, on his part. For, in 
the first place, soldiers who had forcibly seized any- 
thing from the provincials he crucified on the very 
spot where they had committed the crime. He was 
the first, moreover, to devise the following means 
of punishment: after erecting a huge post, 180 
feet high, and binding condemned criminals on it from 
top to bottom, he built a fire at its base, and so burned 
some of them and killed the others by the smoke, 
the pain, and even by the fright. Besides this, he 
had men bound in chains, ten together, and thrown 
into rivers or even the sea. Besides this, he cut off 
the hands of many deserters, and broke the legs and 
hips of others, saying that a criminal alive and 

3 As the type of a stern disciplinarian and successful 



6 viventis l miserabiliter criminosi quam occisi. cum 
exercitum duceret, et inscio ipso manus auxiliaria 
centurionibus suis auctoribus tria milia Sarmatarum 
neglegentius agentum in Danuvii ripis occidissent et 
cum praeda ingenti ad eum redissent speraiitibus 
centurionibus praemium, quod perparva manu tantum 
hostium segnius agentibus tribunis et ignorantibus 
occidissent, rapi eos iussit et in crucem tolli servilique 
supplicio adfici, quod exemplum non exstabat, dicens 
evenire potuisse ut essent insidiae, ac periret Roman! 

7 imperii reverentia. et cum ingens seditio in exercitu 2 
orta esset, processit nudus campestri solo tectus et 
ait, " Percutite," inquit, "me, si audetis, et corruptae 

Sdisciplinae facinus addite". tune conquiescentibus 
9 cunctis meruit timeri, quia ipse 3 non timuit. quae 
res tantum disciplinae Romanis addidit, tantum ter- 
roris barbaris iniecit, ut pacem annorum centum ab 
Antonino absente peterent ; si quidem viderant 
damnatos Romani ducis iudicio etiam eos qui contra 
fas vicerant. 

V. De hoc multa gravia contra militum licentiam 

facta inveniuntur apud Aemilium Parthenianum, qui 

adfectatores tyraimidis iam inde a veteribus historiae 

2tradidit. nam et virgis caesos in foro et in mediis 

1 auiuentis (a later erased) P; aduiuentis Peter 2 with 
Baehrens. 2 in extrcitum orta P, Peter. 3 ipse om. by 

1 Known only from this citation. 


wretched was a more terrible example than one who 
had been put to death. Once when he was com- 
manding the army, a band of auxiliaries, at the sug- 
gestion of their centurions and without his knowledge, 
slaughtered 3,000 Sarmatians, who were camping 
somewhat carelessly on the bank of the Danube, and 
returned to him with immense plunder. But when 
the centurions expected a reward because they had 
slain such a host of the enemy with a very small force 
while the tribunes were passing their time in indolence 
and were even ignorant of the whole affair, he had 
them arrested and crucified, and punished them with 
the punishment of slaves, for which there was no 
precedent; "It might," he said, "have been an 
ambush, and the barbarians' awe for the Roman 
Empire might have been lost." And when a fierce 
mutiny arose in the camp, he issued forth clad only 
in a wrestler's loin-cloth and said : " Strike me, if 
you dare, and add the crime of murder to breach of 
discipline". Then, as all grew quiet, he was held in 
well deserved fear, because he had shown no fear 
himself. Tin's incident so strengthened discipline 
among the Romans and struck such terror into the 
barbarians, that they besought the absent Antoninus 
for a hundred years' peace, since they had seen even 
those who conquered, if they conquered wrongfully, 
sentenced to death by the decision of a Roman 

V. Many of the stern measures he took to put down 
the licence of the soldiers are recorded in the works 
of Aemilius Parthenianus, 1 who has related the history 
of the pretenders to the throne from ancient times 
even to the present. For example, after openly 
beating them with the lictors' rods in the forum and 




castris securi percussit, qui ita meruerunt, et manus 

3 multis amputavit. et praeter laridum ac buccellatum 

atque acetum militem in expeditione portare prohi- 

buit et si aliud quippiam repperit luxuriem lion levi 

4supplico adfecit. exstat de hoc epistula divi Marci 

5 ad praefectum suuin tails: "Avidio Cassio legiones 

Syriacas dedi difflueiites luxuria et Daphnidis mori- 

bus agentes, quas totas excaldantes se repperisse Cae- 

6 sonius Vectilianus scripsit. et puto me non errasse, 

si quidem et tu notum habeas Cassium, hominem 

7Cassianae severitatis et disciplinae. neque enim 

milites regi possunt nisi vetere disciplina. scis enim 

versum a bono poeta dictum et omnibus frequenta- 

tum : 

' Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisque. 

8tu tantum fac adsint legionibus abunde commeatus, 

quos, si bene Avidium novi, scio non perituros." 

9 praefecti ad Marcum : " Recte consuluisti, mi domine, 

10 quod Cassium praefecisti l Syriacis legionibus. nihil 
enim tarn expedit quam homo severior Graecanicis 

11 militibus. ille sane omnes excaldationes, omnes 
12flores de capite collo et sinu militi excutiet. annona 

militaris omnis parata est, neque quicquam deest sub 

bono duce ; non enim multum aut quaeritur aut 

VI. impenditur." nee fefellit de se indicium habitum. 

l praefecisti P corr. ; pratfectis P 1 . 

1 Also brought as a reproach against the Syrian army in 
Alex., liii. 2. 

2 A line from Ennius' Annales, quoted in Cicero, de Rep., 
v. ; see Augustinus, Civ. Dei, ii. 21. 



in the midst of the camp, he beheaded those who de- 
served it with the axe, and in numerous instances 
cut off his soldiers' hands. He forbade the soldiers, 
moreover, to carry anything when on the march save 
lard and biscuit and vinegar, and if he discovered any- 
thing else he punished the breach of discipline with 
no light hand. There is a letter concerning Cassius 
that the Deified Marcus wrote to his prefect, running 
somewhat as follows : " I have put Avidius Cassius 
in command of the Syrian legions, which are running 
riot in luxury and conducting themselves with the 
morals of Daphne ; concerning these legions Caesonius 
Vectilianus has written that he found them all ac- 
customed to bathe in hot water. 1 And I think I have 
made no mistake, for you too know Cassius, a man 
of true Cassian strictness and rigour. Indeed, the 
soldiers cannot be controlled except by the ancient 
discipline. You know what the good poet says, a line 
universally quoted : 

'The state of Rome is rooted in the men and 
manners of the olden time.' 2 

Do you take care only that provisions are abundantly 
provided for the legions, for if I have judged Avidius 
correctly I know that they will not be wasted." The 
prefect's answer to Marcus runs : " You planned 
wisely, Sire, when you put Cassius in command of 
the Syrian legions. Nothing benefits Grecianized 
soldiers like a man who is somewhat strict. He will 
certainly do away with all warm baths, and will 
strike all the flowers from the soldiers' heads and 
necks and breasts. Food for the soldiers is all pro- 
vided ; and nothing is lacking under an able general, 
for but little is either asked or expended." VI. And 



nam statim et ad signa edici iussit et programma in 
parietibus fixit, ut, si quis cinctus inveniretur apud 

2 Daphnen, discinctus rediret. arma militum septima 
die semper respexit, vestimenta etiam et calciamenta 
et ocreas, delicias omnes de castris summovit iussitque 
eos hiemem sub pellibus agere nisi corrigerent suos 

3 mores ; et egissent, nisi honestius vixissent. exer- 
citium septimi diei fuit omnium militum, ita ut et 

4sagittas mitterent et armis luderent. dicebat enim 
miserum esse, cum exercerenturathletae venatores et 
gladiatores, non exerceri milites ; quibus minor esset 
futurus labor, si consuetus esset. 

5 Ergo correcta disciplina et in Armenia et in Arabia 

6 et in Aegypto res optime gessit amatusque est ab 
omnibus oriental ibus et speciatim ab Antiochensibus, 
qui etiam imperio eius consenserunt, ut docet Marius 

7 Maximus in vita divi Marci. nam et cum 1 Bucolici 
milites per Aegyptum gravia multa facerent, ab hoc 
retunsi sunt, ut item 2 Marius Maximus refert in eo 
libro quern secundum de vita Marci Antonini edidit. 

VII. Hie imperatorem se in oriente appellavit, ut 

1 cum et P. 3 item P ; idem Peter. 

1 Discinctus means " deprived of his sword-belt " a 
punishment inflicted upon disobedient soldiers. 

2 An attempt to summarize the important and brilliant 
campaign of 164-106, in which Cassius drove the Parthians 
out of Syria, overran Mesopotamia, and finally captured 
Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital ; see Marc., ix. 1; Ver., vii. 
1-2 ; Dio, hod. 2. 



Cassius did not disappoint the expectation that had 
been formed of him, for he immediately had the 
proclamation made at assembly, and posted notices 
on the walls, that if any one were discovered at 
Daphne in his uniform he would return without it. 1 
Regularly once a week he inspected his soldiers' 
equipment, even their clothes and shoes and leggings, 
and he banished all dissipation from the camp and 
issued an order that they would pass the winter in 
their tents if they did not mend their ways ; and they 
would have done so, had they not conducted them- 
selves more respectably. Once a week there was a 
drill of all the soldiers, in which they even shot 
arrows and engaged in contests in the use of arms. 
For he said that it was shameful that soldiers should 
not be trained, while athletes, wild beast fighters and 
gladiators were, for the soldiers' future labours, if 
familiar to them, would be less onerous. 

And so, having stiffened military discipline, he 
conducted affairs in Armenia and Arabia and Egypt 
with the greatest success. 2 He was well loved by 
all the eastern nations, especially by the citizens of 
Antioch, who even acquiesced in his rule, as Marius 
Maximus relates in his Life of the Deified Marcus. 
And when the warriors of the Bucolici did many 
grievous things in Egypt, they were checked by 
Cassius, 3 as Marius Maximus also relates in the 
second book of those he published on the Life of 

VII. Finally, while in the East, 4 he proclaimed him- 175 

8 See Marc., xxi. 2 and note. 

4 After his victorious campaign against the Parthians he 
was appointed governor-general of all the eastern provinces ; 
see Dio, Ixxi. 3, 1. 



quidam dicunt, Faustina volente, quae valetudini Marci 
iam diffidebat et timebat, ne infantes filios tueri sola 
non posset, atque aliquis exsisteret, qui capta statione 
2regia infantes de medio tolleret. alii autem dicunt, 
hanc artem adhibuisse militibus et provincialibus 
Cassium contra Marci amorem, ut sibi posset con- 
sentiri, quod diceret Marcum diem suum obisse. 

3 nam et divum eum appellasse dicitur, ut desiderium 
illius leniret. 

4 Imperatorio animo cum processisset, eum qui sibi 
aptaverat ornamenta regia statim praefectum prae- 
torii fecit ; qui et ipse occisus est Antonino invito ab 
exercitu, qui et Maecianum, cui erat commissa 
Alexandria quique consenserat l spe participatus 
Cassio, invito atque ignorante Antonino interemit. 

5 Nee tamen Antoninus graviter est iratus rebellione 
cognita nee in eius liberos aut adfectus saevit. 

6 senatus ilium hostem appellavit bonaque eius pro- 
scripsit. quae Antoninus in privatum aerarium con- 
geri noluit, quare senatu praecipiente in aerarium 

7 publicum sunt relata. nee Romae terror defuit, cum 

1 senserat P. 

1 So also Hare., xxiv. 6, and Dio, Ixxi. 22, 3 f. Dio adds 
the not improbable story that Faustina bade Cassius hold 
himself in readiness, in case aught befell Marcus, to marry 
her and seize the sovereignty, and that when a false report of 
Marcus* death was brought he declared himself emperor. 
According to o. ix. 9, the version in the text was given by 
Marius Maxiinus. 

2 i.e. on receipt of the report of his death ; see last note. 

3 Cf. Marc., xxv. 4. 

4 The prefect of Egypt, Flavius Calvisius, declared for 
Oassius; see Dio, Ixxi. 28, 3. Evidence that Egypt recog- 
nized him as emperor is afforded by a papyrus, dated in the 



self emperor, some say, at the wish of Faustina, 1 who 
now despaired of Marcus' health and was afraid that 
she would be unable to protect her infant children by 
herself, and that some one would arise and seize the 
throne and make away with the children. Others, 
however, say that Cassius employed an artifice with 
the soldiers and provincials to overcome their love for 
Marcus so that they would join him, saying that 
Marcus had met his end. ' And, indeed, he called him 
"the Deified," 2 it is said, in order to lessen their grief 
for him. 

When his plan of making himself emperor had 
been put into effect, he forthwith appointed prefect 
of the guard the man who had invested him with the 
imperial insignia. This man was later put to death 
by the army 3 against the wishes of Antoninus. The 
army also slew Aiaecianus, in whose charge Alexandria 
had been placed ; he had joined Cassius 4 in the hope 
of sharing the sovereignty with him, and he too was 
slain against the wishes and without the knowledge 
of Antoninus. 

For all that, Antoninus was not seriously angered 
on learning of this revolt, nor did he vent his rage 
on Cassius' children or on his kin. 7"he senate, 
however, pronounced him a public enemy and con- 
fiscated his property. 5 ' But Antoninus was unwilling 
that this should be forfeited to the privy-purse, and 
so, at the bidding of the senate, it was delivered to 
the public treasury. And there was no slight con- 
sternation at Rome ; for many said that Avidius 
Cassius would advance on the city in the absence of 

first year of Imperator Caesar Julius Avidius Cassius ; see 
Bull. Inst. Egypt., vii. (1896), p. 123. 
5 Cf. Marc., xxiv. 9. 



quidam Avidium Cassium dicerent absente Antonino, 
qui nisi a voluptariis unice amabatur, Romam esse 
venturum atque urbem tyrannice direpturum, maxime 
senatorum causa, qui eum hostem iudicaverant bonis 

Sproscriptis. et amor Antonini hoc maxime enituit, 
quod consensu omnium praeter Antiochenses Avidius 

9 interemptus est ; quern quidem occidi non iussit sed 
passus est, cum apud cunctos clarum esset, si pote- 
VIII. statis suae fuisset, parsurum l illi fuisse. caput eius 
ad Antoninum cum delatum esset, ille non exsultauit, 
non elatus est, sed etiam doluit ereptam sibi esse 
occasionem miser icordiae, cum diceret se vivum 
ilium voluisse capere, ut illi exprobraret beneficia 

2sua eumque servaret. denique cum quidam diceret 
reprehendendum Antoninum, quod tarn mitis esset in 
hostem suum eiusque liberos et adfectus atque omnes 
quos conscios tyrannidis repperisset, addente illo qui 
reprehendebat " Quid si ille vicisset ? " dixisse dicitur 
" Non sic deos coluimus nee sic vivimus, ut ille nos 

Svinceret". enumeravit deinde omnes principes qui 
occisi essent habuisse causas quibus mererentur occidi, 
nee quemquam facile bonum vel victum a tyranno vel 

4occisum, dicens meruisse Neronem, debuisse Cali- 
gulam, Othonem et Vitellium nee imperare voluisse. 

1 parsurum P corr. ; passurum P 1 . 

1 Cf. Marc., xxv. 3. According to Dio, Ixxi. 27, 2-3, 
Cassins was killed by two petty-officers, who then took his 
head to Marcus. 

2 Nero committed suicide in order to escape death at the 
hands of the guard after Galba had been proclaimed emperor 
and he himself had been declared a public enemy by the 
senate ; see Suet., Nero, xlvii.-xlix. Caligula was assassinated 
by two officers of the guard; see Suet., Cat., Iviii. Otho 
committed suicide after his defeat by the army of Vitellius 



Antoninus, who was singularly loved by all but the 
profligates, and that he would ravage it like a tyrant, 
especially because of the senators who had declared 
him an enemy to the state and confiscated his 
property. The love felt for Antoninus was most 
clearly manifested in the fact that it was with the 
consent of all save the citizens of Antioch that 
Avidius was slain. Antoninus, indeed, did not so 
much order his execution as suffer it ; for it was clear 
to all that he would have spared him had it been in 
his power. VIII. And when his head was brought to 
Antoninus he did not rejoice or exult, 1 but rather 
was grieved that he had lost an opportunity for show- 
ing mercy ; for he said that he had wished to take 
him alive, so that he might reproach him with the 
kindness he had shown him in the past, and then 
spare his life. Finally, when some one said that 
Antoninus deserved blame because he was so indulgent 
toward his enemy and his enemy's children and kin, 
and indeed toward every one whom he had found 
concerned in the outbreak, and added furthermore, 
" What if Cassius had been successful ? " the Emperor 
said, it is reported : " We have not worshipped the 
gods in such a manner, or lived such lives, that he 
could overcome us ". Thereupon he pointed out 
that in the case of all the emperors who had been 
slain there had been reasons why they deserved to 
die, and that no emperor, generally recognized as 
good, had been conquered or slain by a pretender, 
adding that Nero had deserved to die and Caligula 
had forfeited his life, while neither Otho nor Vitellius 
had really wished to rule. 2 He expressed similar 

(Suet., Otho, xi.), and Vitellius was murdered by the soldiers 
of Vespasian (Suet., Vit., xvii). 



5 etiam l de Galba 2 paria sentiebat, cum diceret in 
imperatore avaritiam esse acerb issimum malum. 

6 denique non Augustum, non Traianum, non Ha- 
drianum, non patrem suum a rebellibus potuisse su- 
perari, cum et multi fuerint et ipsis vel invitis vel 

7 insciis exstincti. ipse autem Antoninus a senatu petiit 
ne graviter in conscios defectionis animadverteretur, 
eo ipso tempore quo rogavit ne quis senator tempori- 
bus suis capitali supplicio adficeretur, quod illi 

8 maximum amorem conciliavit. denique paucissimis 
centurionibus punitis deportatos revocari iussit. 

IX. Antiochensibus, 3 qui 4 Avidio Cassio consenserant, et 
his 5 et aliis civitatibus, quae ilium iuverant, ignovit, 
cum primo Antiochensibus graviter iratus esset iisque 
spectacula sustulisset et multa alia civitatis orna- 

2menta, quae postea reddidit. filios Avidii Cassii 
Antoninus Marcus parte media paterni patrimonii 
donavit, ita ut filias eius auro argento et gemmis 

3 cohonestaret. nam et Alexandriae, filiae Cassii, et 
genero Drunciano liberam evagandi ubi vellent 

4potestatem dedit. vixeruntque non quasi tyranni 
pignora sed quasi senatorii ordinis in summa securi- 
tate, cum illis etiam 6 in lite obici fortunam propriae 
vetuisset domus, damnatis aliquibus iniuriarum, qui 

1 So Peter with Boxhorn ; nam P. 2 de Pertinace et 

Galba P. 3 So P corr ; antiochcnsis P 1 . 4 gwi P ; quogue 
Peter with Madvig. 5 sed et his P, Peter 2 . 6 illi seuam 
P 1 ; illis P corr. 

1 Galba's refusal to give the expected donative to the troops 
so embittered the soldiers that they refused to swear allegiance 
to him (Suet., Galb., xvi.) ; his stinginess also caused the 
guard to join Otho in the conspiracy by which he was 
murdered (i&, xvii i). 

s Cf. Marc., xxv. 5-6 and note. 



sentiments concerning Galba also, saying that in an 
emperor avarice was the most grievous of all failings. 1 
And lastly, he said, no rebels had succeeded in over- 
coming either Augustus, or Trajan, or Hadrian, or 
his own father, and, although there had been many 
of them, they had been killed either against the 
wishes or without the knowledge of those emperors. 
Antoninus himself, moreover, asked the senate to re- 
frain from inflicting severe punishment on those men 
who were implicated in the rebellion ; he made this 
request at the very same time in which he requested 
that during his reign no senator be punished with 
capital punishment 2 an act which won him the 
greatest affection. Finally, after he had punished a 
very few centurions, he gave orders that those who had 
been exiled should be recalled. 3 IX. The citizens of 
Antioch also had sided with Avidius Cassius, but 
these, together with certain other states which had 
aided Cassius, he pardoned, though at first he was 
deeply angered at the citizens of Antioch and took 
away their games and many of the distinctions of the 
city, all of which he afterwards restored. To the 
sons of Avidius Cassius Antoninus presented half of 
their father's property, 4 and his daughters he even 
graced with gold and silver and jewels. To Alexan- 
dria, Cassius' daughter, and Druncianus, his son-in- 
law, he gave unrestricted permission to travel wher- 
ever they liked. And they lived not as the children 
of a pretender but as members of the senatorial order 
and in the greatest security, as was shown by the 
orders he gave that not even in a law- suit should they 
be taunted with the fortunes of their family, and by 
his convicting certain people of personal affront who 

3 Of. Marc., xxv. 7 . 4 Of. Marc., xxvi. 12. 



in eos petulantes fuissent. quos quidem amitae suae 

marito commendavit. 
5 Si quis autem omnem hanc historiam scire de- 

siderat, legat Marii Maxirni secundum librum de vita 

Marci, in quo ille ea dicit quae solus l Marcus mortuo 
6iam Vero egit. tune enim Cassius rebellavit, ut 

probat epistula missa ad Faustinam, cuius hoc exera- 

7 plum est : " Verus mihi de Avidio verum scripserat, 
quod cuperet imperare. audisse enim te arbitror 

8 quod Veri statores 2 de eo nuntiarent. veni igitur in 
Albanum, ut tractemus omnia dis volentibus, nil 

9 timens." hinc autem apparet Faustinam ista nescisse, 
cum dicat Marius infamari earn cupiens quod ea 

10 conscia Cassius imperium sumpsisset. nam et ipsius 
epistula exstat ad virum, qua urget 3 M.ircum ut in 

11 eum graviter vindicet. exemplum epistulae Faustinae 
ad Marcum : " Jpsa in Albanum eras, ut iubes, mox 
veniam ; tamen iam hortor, ut, si amas liberos tuos, 

12istos rebelliones acerrime persequaris. male enim 
assueverunt duces et milites, 4 qui nisi opprimuntur, 

X. oppriment." item alia epistula eiusdem Faustinae 

ad Marcum : " Mater mea Faustina patrem tuum 

Pium in defectione 5 Celsi hortata 6 est, ut pietatem 

2primum circa suos servaret, sic circa alienos. non 

enim pius est imperator, qui non cogitat uxorem et 

3 filios. Commodus noster vides in qua aetate sit, 

4 Pompeianus gener et senior est et peregrinus. vide 

1 solum P. 2 So Peter with Salm. ; herispatores P. 

3 urget P; urguet edd. * et duces milites P 1 ; et duces et 

milites P corr. 6 eiusdem in def. P ; eiusdem removed by 

Gas. Q sic hortata P; sic removed by Novak ; coliortata 

Peter 2 . 

1 See note to c. i. 7. 2 See note to Q. vii. 1. 

3 Nothing is known of any such revolt. 


had been insulting to them. He even put them 
under the protection of his uncle by marriage. 

If any one wishes, moreover, to know the whole of 
this story, let him read the second book of Marius 
Maximus on the life of Marcus, in which he relates 
everything that Marcus did as sole emperor after the 
death of Verus. For it was during this time that 
Cassius rebelled, as a letter written to Faustina shows, 
from which the following is an extract : l " Verus told 
me the truth about Avidius, that he desired to rule. 
For I presume you heard what Verus' messengers re- 
ported about him. Come, then, to our Alban villa, 
so that with the help of the gods we may prepare for 
everything, and do not be afraid." It would appear 
from this that Faustina knew nothing of the affair, 
though Marius Maximus, wishing to defame her, says 
that it was with her connivance that Cassius attempted 
to seize the throne. 2 Indeed, we have also a letter 
of hers to her husband in which she urges Marcus 
to punish Cassius severely. A copy of Faustina's 
letter to Marcus reads : " I shall come to our Alban 
villa to-morrow, as you command. Yet I urge you 
now, if you love your children, to punish those rebels 
with all severity. For soldiers and generals have an 
evil habit of crushing others if they are not crushed 
themselves." X. Another letter of this same Faus- 
tina to Marcus reads similarly : " When Celsus re- 
volted, 3 my mother, Faustina, urged your father, Pius, 
to deal righteously first with his own kin, and then with 
strangers. For no emperor is righteous who does not 
take thought for his wife and children. You can see 
how young our son Commodus is ; our son-in-law 
Pompeianus 4 is an elderly man and a foreigner be- 

4 See Marc., xx. 6. 



5 quid agas de Avidio Cassio et de ems consciis. noli 
parcere homitiibus, qui tibi non pepercerunt et nee 

6 mihi nee filiis nostris parcerent, si vicissent. ipsa 
iter tuum mox consequor ; quia Fadilla nostra 

7aegrotabat, in Formianum venire non potui. sed si 
te Formiis invenire non potuero, adsequar Capuam, 
quae civitas et meam et filiorum nostrorum aegri- 

Studinem poterit acliuvare. Soteridam medicum in 
Formianum ut demittas, rogo. ego autem Pisitheo 
nihil credo, qui puellae virgini curationem nescit 

9adhibere. signatas l mihi litteras Calpurnius dedit ; 

ad quas rescribam, si tardavero, per Caecilium senem 

lOspadonem, hominem, ut scis, fidelem. cui verbo 

mandabo, quid uxor Avidii Cassii et filii et gener de 

te iactare dicantur." 

XI. Ex his litteris intellegitur Cassio Faustinam 
consciam non fuisse, quin etiam supplicium eius 
graviter exegisse, si quidem Antoninum quiescentem 
et clementiora cogitantem ad vindictae necessitatem 

2impulit. cui 2 Antoninus quid rescripserit, subdita 

3 epistula perdocebit : " Tu quidem, mea Faustina, 
religiose pro marito et pro nostris liberis agis. nam 
relegi epistulam tuam in Formiano, qua me hortaris, 

4 ut in Avidii conscios vindicem. ego vero et eius 
liberis parcam et genero et uxori, et ad senatum 
scribam, ne aut proscriptio gravior sit aut poena 

5 crudelior. non enim quicquam est, quod imperatorem 
Romanum melius commendet gentibus quam cle- 

signitas P, which Ellis thinks perhaps right in sense of 
" in cipher ". 2 cu, i.e. cum. P. 



sides, Consider well what you will do about Avidius 
Cassius and his accomplices. Do not show forbearance 
to men who have shown no forbearance to you and 
would show none either to me or to your children, 
should they be victorious. I shall follow you on your 
way presently ; I have not been able to come to the 
Formian villa because our dear Fadilla l was ill. 
However, if I shall fail to find you at Formiae, I will 
follow on to Capua, a city which can furnish help to 
me and our children in our sickness. Please send the 
physician Soteridas to Formiae. I have no confidence 
in Pisitheus, who does not know how to treat a young 
girl. Calpurnius has brought me a sealed letter; I 
shall reply to it, if I linger on here, through Caecilius, 
the old eunuch, a man to be trusted, as you know. I 
shall also report through him, in a verbal message, 
what Cassius' wife and children and son-in-law are 
said to be circulating about you." 

XI. From these letters it can be seen that Faustina 
was not in collusion with Cassius, but, on the contrary, 
earnestly demanded his punishment ; for, indeed, it 
was she who urged on Antoninus the necessity of 
vengeance when he was inclined to take no action 
and was considering more merciful measures. The 
following letter tells what Antoninus wrote to her in 
reply : " Truly, my Faustina, you are over-anxious 
about your husband and children. For while I was 
at Formiae I re-read the letter wherein you urged 
me to take vengeance on Avidius' accomplices. I, 
however, shall spare his wife and children and son- 
in-law, and I will write to the senate forbidding any 
immoderate confiscation or cruel punishment. For 
there is nothing which endears a Roman emperor to 

1 Arria Fadilla, fourth child of Marcus, born about 150. 



6 mentia. haec Caesarem deum fecit, haec Augustum 
consecravit, haec patrem tuum specialiter Pii nomine 

7 ornavit. denique si ex mea sententia de bello iudi- 
Scatum esset, nee Avidius esset occisus. esto igitur 

secura ; 

'di me tuentur, dis pietas mea 
cordi est'. 

Pompeianum nostrum in annum sequentem con- 
sulem dixi." haec Antoninus ad coniugem. 

XII. Ad senatum autem qualem orationem miserit, 

2 interest scire. ex oratione Marci Antonini : " Ha- 
betis igitur, patres conscripti, pro gratulatione 
victoriae generum meum consulem, Pompeianum 
dico, cuius aetas olim remuneranda fuerat consulatu, 
nisi viri fortes intervenissent, quibus reddi debuit 

3 quod a re publica debebatur. iiunc quod ad defec- 
tionem Cassianam pertinet, vos oro atque obsecro, 
patres conscripti, ut censura vestra deposita meam pie- 
tatem clementiamque servetis, immo vestram, neque 

4 quemquam l senatus occidat. nemo senatorum punia- 
tur, nullius fundatur viri nobilis sanguis, deportati rede- 

6 ant, proscripti bona recipiant. utinam possem multos 2 
etiam ab inferis excitare ! lion enim umquam placet 
in imperatore vindicta sui doloris, quae si iustior 

Gfuerit, acrior videtur. quare filiis Avidii Cassii et 

1 quemquam ullum P; ullum removed by Lessing ; quem- 
quam unum Peter. 2 multos P, which Lessing restores ; 
multatos Peter. 

1 Cf. Hadr., rxiv. 4; Pius t ii. 4. 

2 Horace, Odes, i. 17, 13. 

3 The fact that the second consulship of Pompeianus (see 
Marc., xx. 6) was in 173, two years prior to Cassius' revolt, 
shows that this letter is not genuine. 



mankind as much as the quality of mercy. This 
quality caused Caesar to be deified and made Augustus 
a god, and it was this characteristic, more than any 
other, that gained your father his honourable name 
of Pius. 1 Indeed, if the war had been settled in ac- 
cordance with my desires, Avidius would not have 
been killed. So do not be anxious ; 

' Over me the gods keep guard, the gods hold dear 
my righteousness.' 2 

I have named our Pompeianus consul for 
next year." 3 Thus did Antoninus write to his wife. 
XII. It is of interest, moreover, to know what sort 
of a message he sent to the senate. An extract from 
the message of Marcus Antoninus : " So then, in return 
for this manifestation of joy at our victory, Conscript 
Fathers, receive myson-in-law as consul Pompeianus, 
I mean, who has come to an age that were long since 
rewarded with the consulship, had there not stood in 
the way certain brave men, to whom it was right to 
give what was due them from the state. And now, 
as to Cassius' revolt, I pray and beseech you, Con- 
script Fathers, lay aside your severity, and preserve 
the righteousness and mercy that are mine nay rather 
I should say, yours and let the senate put no man 
to death. Let no senator be punished ; let the blood 
of no distinguished man be shed ; let those who have 
been exiled return to their homes ; let those who have 
been outlawed recover their estates. Would that I 
could also recall many from the grave ! Vengeance 
for a personal wrong is never pleasing in an emperor, 
for the juster the vengeance is, the harsher it seems. 
Wherefore, you will grant pardon to the sons and son- 
in-law and wife of Avidius Cassius. For that matter, 



genero et uxori veniam dabitis. et quid dico veniam ? 

7 cum illi nihil fecerint. vivant igitur securi, scientes 
sub Marco vivere. vivant in patrimonio parentum 
pro parte doiiato, auro argento vestibus fruantur, sint 
divites, sint securi, sint vagi et liberi et per ora om- 
nium ubique populorum circumferant meae, circum- 

8 ferant vestrae pietatis exemplum. nee magna haec 
est, patres conscripti, dementia, veniam proscriptorum 

9 liberis et coniugibus dari. ego vero a vobis peto, ut 
conscios seiiatorii ordinis et equestris a caede, a pro- 
scriptiorie, a timore, ab infamia, ab invidia, et postremo 
ab omni vindicetis iniuria detisque hoc meis tem- 

10 poribus, ut in causa tyrannidis qui in tumultu cecidit 
probetur occisus." 

XIII. Hanc eius clementiam senatus his adclama- 

2 tionibus prosecutus est : " Antonine pie, di te servent. 
Antonine clemens, di te servent. Antonine clemens, 1 

3 di te servent. tu voluisti quod licebat, nos fecimus 
quod decebat. Commodo imperium iustum rogamus. 
progeniem tuam robora. fac securi sint liberi nostri. 

4 bonum imperium nulla vis laedit. Commodo Antonino 
tribumciam potestatem rogamus, praesentiam tuam 

5 rogamus. philosophiae tuae, patientiae tuae, doc- 
trinae tuae, nobilitati tuae, innocentiae tuae. vincis 
inimicos, hostes exsuperas, di te tuentur," et reli- 

6 Vixerunt igitur posteri Avidii Cassii securi et ad 

1 So P ; repetition from the preceding has crowded out 
some other adj. 

1 For similar outcries alleged to have taken place in the 
senate see Corn., xviii.-xix. ; Alex., vi.-xi. 

2 Bestowed in 177; see Marc., xxvii. 5, and note. 



why should I say pardon ? They have done nothing. 
Let them live, therefore, free from all anxiety, know- 
ing that they live under Marcus. Let them live in 
possession of their parents' property, granted to each 
in due proportion ; let them enjoy gold, silver, and 
raiment ; let them be rich ; let them be free from 
anxiety ; let them, unrestricted and free to travel 
wheresoever they wish, carry in themselves before the 
eyes of all nations everywhere an example of my for- 
bearance, an example of yours. Nor is it any great act 
of mercy, Conscript Fathers, to grant pardon to the 
wives and children of outlawed men. I do beseech 
you to save these conspirators, men of the senatorial 
and equestrian orders, from death, from proscription, 
from terror, from disgrace, from hatred, and, in short, 
from every harm, and to grant this to my reign, that 
whoever, in the cause of the pretender, has fallen in 
the strife may, though slain, still be esteemed." 

XIII. The senate honoured this act of mercy with 
these acclamations : l " God save you, righteous An- 
toninus. God save you, merciful Antoninus. God 
save you, merciful Antoninus. You have desired what 
was lawful, we have done what was fitting. We ask 
lawful power for Commodus. Strengthen your off- 
spring. Make our children free from care. No vio- 
lence troubles righteous' rule. We ask the tribunician 
power - for Commodus Antoninus. We beseech your 
presence. All praise to your philosophy, your 
patience, your principles, your magnanimity, your 
innocence ! You conquer your foes within, you 
prevail over those without, the gods are watching 
over you," and so forth. 

And so the descendants of Avidius Cassius lived un- 
molested and were admitted to offices of honour. 



Thonores admissi sunt. sed eos Commodus Antoninus 
post excessum divi patris sui omnes vivos incendi 
iussit, quasi in factione deprehensos. 

8 Haec sunt quae de Cassio Avidio comperimus. 

9 cuius ipsius mores, ut supra diximus, varii semper fue- 
runt sed ad censuram crudelitatemque propensiores. 

10 qui, si optinuisset imperium, fuisset non clemens et 

XIV. bonus, 1 sed ntilis et optimus imperator. nam exstat 

epistula eius ad generum suum iam imperatoris huius- 

2 modi: " Misera res publica, quae istos divitiarum 

3 cupidos et divites patitur, misera. Marcus homo sane 
optimus, qui dum clemens dici cupit, 2 eos patitur 

4 vivere quorum ipse non probat vitam. ubi Lucius 
Cassius, cuius nos frustra tenet nomeii ? ubi Marcus 
ille Cato Censorius ? ubi omnis disciplina maiorum ? 
quae olim quidem intercidit, nunc vero nee quaeritur. 

5 Marcus Antoninus philosophatur et quaerit de ele- 
mentis 3 et de animis et de honesto et iusto nee 

6 sentit pro re publica. vides multis opus esse gladiis, 
multis elogiis, ut in antiquum statum publica forma 

7 reddatur. ego vero istis praesidibus provinciarum 
an ego proconsules, an ego praesides putem, qui ob 
hoc sibi a senatu et ab Antonino provincias datas cre- 

8 dunt, ut luxurientur, ut divites fiant ? audisti, prae- 
fectum praetorii nostri philosophi ante triduum quam 

1 So Vielhaber ; non modo clemens sed bonus P ; non modo 
c. et b. Peter. 2 So P ; Peter by error attributes clementes 
to P, and reads, following Petschenig, clementem se. 3 de 

clementes P 1 ; de clementiis P corr. 



But after his deified father's death Commodus 
Antoninus ordered them all to be burned alive, as if 
they had been caught in a rebellion. 

So much have we learned concerning Avidius 
Cassius. His character, as we have said before, 1 was 
continually changing, though inclined, on the whole, 
to severity and cruelty. Had he gained the throne, 
he would have made not a merciful and kind emperor 
but a beneficent and excellent one. XIV. For we 
have a letter of his, written to his son-in-law after he 
had declared himself emperor, that reads somewhat 
as follows : " Unhappy state, unhappy, which suffers 
under men who are eager for riches and men who 
have grown rich ! Marcus is indeed the best of men, 
but one who wishes to be called merciful and hence 
suffers to live men whose manner of life he cannot 
sanction. Where is Lucius Cassius, 2 whose name we 
bear in vain ? Where is that other Marcus, Cato the 
Censor ? Where is all the rigour of our fathers ? 
Long since indeed has it perished, and now it is not 
even desired. Marcus Antoninus philosophizes and 
meditates on first principles, and on souls and 
virtue and justice, and takes no thought for the state. 
There is need, rather, for many swords, as you see 
for yourself, and for much practical wisdom, in order 
that the state may return to its ancient ways. And 
truly in regard to those governors of provinces can 
I deem proconsuls or governors those who believe 
that their provinces were given them by the senate 
and Antoninus only in order that they might revel 
and grow rich ? You have heard that our philo- 

1 c. iii. 4. 

2 Evidently an error for C. Cassius Longinus ; see note to 
c. i. 4. 



fieret mendicum et pauperem, sed subito divitem 
factum. unde, quaeso, nisi de visceribus rei publicae 
provincialiumque fortunis ? sint sane divites, sint 
locupletes. aerarium publicum refercient ; l tantum 
di faveant bonis partibus, 2 reddant 3 Cassiani rei pub- 
licae principatum." haec epistula eius indicat, quam 
severus et quam tristis futurus fuerit imperator. 

1 Thus Petrarch ; referient P. *patnbus P. A red- 

dant P; reddcnt Casaubon, Peter. 


sopher's prefect of the guard was a beggar and a 
pauper three days before his appointment, and then 
suddenly became rich. How, I ask you, save from 
the vitals of the state and the purses of the provin- 
cials ? Well then, let them be rich, let them be 
wealthy. In time they will stuff the imperial 
treasury 1 ; only let the gods favour the better side, 
let the men of Cassius restore to the state a lawful 
government." This letter of his shows how stern 
and how strict an emperor he would have been. 

1 i.e., they will be forced to disgorge their ill-gotten gains. 




I. De Commodi Antonini parentibus in vita Marci 

2 Antonini satis est disputatum. ipse autem natus est 
apud Lanuvium cum fratre Antonino gemino pridie 
kal. Sept. patre patruoque consulibus, ubi et avus 

3 maternus dicitur natus. Faustina cum esset Com- 
modo cum fratre praegnans, visa est in somnis 

4 serpentes parere, sed ex his unum ferociorem. cum 
autem peperisset Commodum atque Antoninum, 
Antoninus quadrimus elatus est, quern parem astrorum 

5 cursu Commodo mathematici promittebant. mortuo 
igitur fratre Commodum Marcus et suis praeceptis 
et magnorum atque optimorum virorum erudire co- 

6 natus est. habuit litteratorem Graecum Onesicratem, 
Latinum Capellam Antistium ; orator ei Ateius San- 
ctus fuit. 

7 Sed tot disciplinarum magistri nihil ei profuerunt. 
tantum valet aut ingenii vis aut eorum qui in aula 
institutores habentur. nam a prima statim pueritia 
turpis, improbus, crudelis, libidinosus, ore quoque pol- 

1 Marc., i. 1-4, * Of. Pius, i. 8. 





I. The ancestry of Commodus Antoninus has been 
sufficiently discussed in the life of Marcus Antoninus. 1 
As for Commodus himself, he was born, with his twin 
brother Antoninus, at Laiiuvium where his mother's 
father was born, it is said 2 on the day before the 
Kalends of September, while his father and uncle 31 Aug 
were consuls. Faustina, when pregnant with Com- 161 
modus and his brother, dreamed that she gave birth 
to serpents, one of which, however, was fiercer than 
the other. But after she had given birth to Com- 
modus and Antoninus, the latter, for whom the as- 
trologers had cast a horoscope as favourable as that 
of Commodus, lived to be only four years old. After 
the death of Antoninus, Marcus tried to educate 
Commodus by his own teaching and by that of the 
greatest and the best of men. In Greek literature 
he had Onesicrates as his teacher, in Latin, Antistius 
Capella ; his instructor in rhetoric was Ateius Sanctus. 

However, teachers in all these studies profited him 
not in the least such is the power, either of natural 
character, or of the tutors maintained in a palace. 
For even from his earliest years he was base and dis- 
honourable, and cruel and lewd, defiled of mouth, more- 



8 lutus et coiistupratus l fuit. iam in his artifex, quae 
stationis imperatoriae non erant, ut calices fingeret, 
saltaret, cantaret, sibilaret, scurram denique et gladia- 

9 torem perfectum ostenderet. auspicium crudelitatis 
apud Centurncellas dedit anno aetatis duodecimo, 
nam cum tepidius forte lautus esset, balneatorem in 
fornacem conici iussit ; quando a paedagogo, cui hoc 
inssum fuerat, vervecina pellis in fornace consumpta 
est, ut fidem poenae de foetore nidoris impleret. 

10 Appellatus est autem Caesar puer cum fratre suo 

Vero. 2 quarto decimo aetatis anno in collegium 

II. sacerdotum 3 adscitus est. cooptatus est inter tros- 

sulos 4 principes 5 iuventutis, cum togam sumpsit. 

adhuc in praetexta puerili congiarium dedit atque 

2ipse in Basilica Traiani praesedit. indutus autem 
toga est Nonarum luliarum die, quo in terris Romulus 
non apparuit, et eo tempore quo Cassius a Marco 

'* descivit. profectus est commendatus militibus cum 
patre in Syriam et Aegyptum et cum 6 eo Romam 

1 constuppatus P. a suo Vero Ursinus; Seuero P. 

3 sacerdotis P. 4 trossulos Lipsius; ires solos P. 5 prin- 
ceps P. 6 so P corr. ; et cum om. in P 1 . 

1 Dio, on the other hand, describes him as not naturally 
vicious, but weak and easily influenced ; see Ixxii. 1, 1. 

2 On the coast of Etruria, near the southern end ; it is the 
modern Civita Vecchia. 

3 Cf. c. xi. 13 ; Marc., xii. 8 and note. 

4 M. Annius Verus, who died in 169 ; see Marc., xxi. 3. 
5 Cf. c. xii. 1 ; Marc., xvi. 1 and note. His election to the 

college of pontifices is commemorated on a coin ; see Cohen, 
iii 2 , p. 311, no. 599. 

6 Cf. c. xii. 3 ; Marc., xxii. 12 and note. 

7 See note to Marc., vi. 3. The title princeps iuventutis 
appears on his coins of this period (Cohen iii 2 , p. 311 f., 
nos. 601-618), and in an inscription from Africa (C.I.L., viii. 
11928). Trossuli was an old name given to the Roman 



over, and debauched. 1 Even then he was an adept 
in certain arts which are not becoming in an emperor 
for he could mould goblets and dance and sing and 
whistle, and he could play the buffoon and the 
gladiator to perfection. In the twelfth year of his 
life, at Centumcellae, 2 he gave a forecast of his 
cruelty. For when it happened that his bath was 
drawn too cool, he ordered the bathkeeper to be cast 
into the furnace ; whereupon the slave who had been 
ordered to do this burned a sheep-skin in the furnace, 
in order to make him believe by the stench of the 
vapour that the punishment had been carried out. 

While yet a child he was given the name of 12 Oct., 
Caesar, 3 along with his brother Verus, 4 and in his four- 1 ^ 6 
teenth year he was enrolled in the college of priests. 5 17 | n< 
II. When he assumed the toga, 6 he was elected one of 
the leaders of the equestrian youths, 7 the trossuli, and 
even while still clad in the youth's praetexta he gave 
largess 8 and presided in the Hall of Trajan. 9 He 
assumed the toga on the Nones of July the day on 7 July, 
which Romulus vanished from the earth at the 175 
time when Cassius revolted from Marcus. After he 
had been commended to the favour of the soldiers he 
set out with his father for Syria 10 and Egypt, and 
with him he returned t6 Rome. 11 Afterward he was 

cavalry. It was supposed to have been derived from Tros- 
sulum, a town captured by the cavalry, but even in the 
second century B.C., its meaning was no longer understood; 
see Pliny, Nat. Hist., xxiii. 2, 35 f. 

8 Commemorated on coins; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 266 f., nos. 

9 See note to Hadr., vii. 6. 

10 In July, 175. See Marc., xxv. 1. 

11 See Marc., xxvii. 3. Commodus' return to Rome was 
celebrated by an issue of coins with the legend Adventus 
Caes(aris) ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 228, nos. 1-2, 



4rediit. post haec venia legis annariae impetrata con- 
sul est factus, et cum patre imperator est appellatus 
V kal. Dec. die Pollione et Apro consulibus et 

5 triumphavit cum patre. nam et hoc patres decre- 
verant. profectus est cum patre et ad Germanicum 

6 Adhibitos custodes vitae suae honestiores ferre non 
potuit, pessimos quosque detinuit et summotos usque 

7 ad aegritudinem desideravit. quibus per patris mol- 
litiem restitutis popinas et ganeas in Palatinis semper 
aedibus fecit iieque umquam pepercit vel pudori vel 

Ssumptui. in domo aleam exercuit. mulierculas 
formae scitioris ut prostibula mancipia per speciem l 
lupanarium et ludibrium pudicitiae contraxit. imi- 

9 tatus est propolas circumforanos. equos currules 
sibi comparavit. aurigae habitu currus rexit, gladia- 
toribus convixit, atque se 2 gessit ut lenonum minister, 
ut probris natum magis quam ei loco eum crederes, 3 
ad quern fortuna provexit. 

III. Patris ministeria seniora summovit, amicos senes 

2abiecit. filium Salvii luliani, qui exercitibus praeerat, 

1 per speciem Turnebus; perficium P 1 ; pcrficiens 
1 atque se Editor; aquam P, Peter. z crecleret P. 

P corr. 

1 Cf. Marc., xxii. 12 and note. 

2 On the occasion of Marcus' triumph ; see c. xii. 4 ; Marc., 
xvi. 2 and note. 

3 See c. xii. 5 and note to Marc., xvii. 3. 

4 See c. xii. 6 and Marc., xxvii. 9. 

6 But not in public, except on moonless nights; see Dio, 
Ixxii. 17, 1. 



granted exemption from the law of the appointed 
year and made consul/ and on the fifth day before 177 
the Kalends of December, in the consulship of Pollio 27 ^ 
and Aper, he was acclaimed Imperator together with 
his father, 2 and celebrated a triumph with him. 3 23 Dec., 
For this, too, the senate had decreed. Then he set 
out with his father for the German war. 4 

The more honourable of those appointed to super- 
vise his life he could not endure, but the most evil he 
retained, and, if any were dismissed, he yearned for 
them even to the point of falling sick. And when 
they were reinstated through his father's indulgence, 
he always maintained eating-houses and low resorts 
for them in the imperial palace. He never showed 
regard for either decency or expense. He diced in 
his own home. He herded together women of un- 
usual beauty, keeping them like purchased prostitutes 
in a sort of brothel for the violation of their chastity. 
He imitated the hucksters that strolled about from 
market to market. He procured chariot-horses for 
his own use. He drove chariots in the garb of a pro- 
fessional charioteer, 5 lived with gladiators, and con- 
ducted himself like a procurer's servant. Indeed, 
one would have believed him born rather to a life of 
infamy than to the high place to which Fortune 
advanced him. 

III. His father's older attendants he dismissed, 6 and 
any friends 7 that were advanced in years he cast aside. 

6 e.g. Tarrutenius Paternus, now prefect of the guard 
(see c. iv. 1), and C. Aufidius Victorinus, governor of Ger- 
mania Superior under Marcus. He retained his father's 
friends for a " few years " (Herodian, i. 8, 1), i.e. until about 

7 See note to Hel., xi. 2. 



ob 1 impudicitiam frustra teniptavit atque exinde 
3 luliano tetendit insidias. honestissimos quosque aut 

per contumeliam aut per honorem indignissimum 
4abiecit. appellatus est a mimis quasi obstupratus 

eosdemque ita ut non apparerent subito deportavit. 

5 bellum etiam quod pater paene confecerat legibus 
hostium addictus remisit ac Romam reversus est. 

6 Romam ut rediit, subactore suo Saotero post se in 
curro locato ita triumphavit ut eum saepius 2 cervice 
reflexa publice oscularetur. etiam in orchestra hoc 

7 idem fecit, et cum potaret in lucem helluareturque 
viribus Romani imperil, vespera etiam per tabernas ac 

Slupanaria volitavit. misit homines ad provincias 

regendas vel criminum socios vel a criminosis com- 
9mendatos. in senatus odium ita venit 3 ut et ipse 

crudeliter in tanti ordinis perniciem saeviret fieretque 

e coiitempto crudelis. 

IV. Vita Commodi Quadratum et Lucillam compulit 

ad eius interfectionem consilia inire, non sine prae- 

J o& P, Petschenig ; ad Peter. 2 serins P. s uehit P 1 . 

1 P. Salvius Julianus, consul in 175. He was apparently 
in command of troops on the Rhine. 

2 See c. iv. 8. 

3 According to Herodian (i. 6) he gave up the war against 
the advice of Marcus' friends and advisers, especially his own 
brother-in-law, Pompeianus. He did, however, force the 
Quadi, Marcomanni, and Buri to accept terms of peace 
which were not discreditable to Rome (Dio, Ixxii. 2-3) and was 
acclaimed Imperator for the fourth time. 

4 For the official expression of reception see c. xii. 7. 
His return is commemorated by coins of 180 with the legends 
Adventus Aug(usti) and Fort(una) Eed(ux) ; see Cohen, iii 2 , 
p. 228, no. 3, and p. 248, no. 165. 

5 Called in an inscription triumphus felici*simus Germani- 
cus secundus : see C.I.L., xiv. 2922 = Dessau, Ins. SeL, 1420. 

6 Cf. Ver., iv. 6. 



The son of Salvius Julianus, the commander of the 
troops, 1 he tried to lead into debauchery, but in vain, 
and he thereupon plotted against Julianus. 2 He 
degraded the most honourable either by insulting 
them directly or giving them offices far below their 
deserts. He was alluded to by actors as a man of 
depraved life, and he thereupon banished them so 
promptly that they did not again appear upon the 
stage. He abandoned the war which his father had 
almost finished and submitted to the enemy's terms, 3 
and then he returned to Rome. 4 After he had come 22 Oct., 
back to Rome he led the triumphal procession 5 with 180 
Saoterus, his partner in depravity, seated in his chariot, 
and from time to time he would turn around and kiss 
him openly, repeating this same performance even in 
the orchestra. And not only was he wont to drink 
until dawn and squander the resources of the Roman 
Empire, but in the evening he would ramble through 
taverns and brothels. 6 He sent out to rule the 
provinces men who were either his companions in 
crime or were recommended to him by criminals. 
He became so detested by the senate that he in his 
turn was moved with cruel passion for the destruction 
of that great order, 7 and from having been despised 
he became bloodthirsty. 

IV. Finally the actions of Commodus drove Quad- 
ratus and Lucilla, 8 with the support of Tarrutenius 

7 Especially after the conspiracy of Quadratus and Lucilla, 
according to Herodian, i. 8, 7. 

8 On this conspiracy, formed probably toward the end of 
182, see Dio, Ixxii. 4, 4-5, and Herodian, i. 8, 3-6. Quadratus 
was probably the grandson of Marcus' sister; see Marc., vii. 
4. Lucilla was Commodus' elder sister, the wife of Lucius 
Verus, and after his death, of Claudius Pompeianus ; see 
Marc., xx. 6. 



2 fecti praetorio Tarrutenii Paterni consilio. datum au- 
tem est negotium peragendae necis Claudio Pompeiano 

3 propinquo. qui ingressus ad Commodum destricto 
gladio, cum faciendi potestatem habuisset, in haec 
verba prorumpens ' Hunc tibi pugionem senatus 
mittit ' detexit facinus fatuus nee implevit, multis cum 

4 eo participantibus causam. post haec interfecti sunt 
Pompeianus primo et Quadratus, dein Norbana atque 
Norbanus et Paralius ; et mater eius et Lucilla in 
exsilium exacta. 

5 Turn praefecti praetorio cum vidissent Commodum 
in tantum odium incidisse obtentu Saoteri, cuius 
potentiam populus Romanus ferre non poterat, urbane 
Saoterum eductum a Palatio sacrorum causa et re- 
deuntem in hortos suos per frumentarios occiderunt. 

6 id vero gravius quam de se ipso Commodo fuit. 

7 Paternum autem et huius caedis auctorem et, quantum 
videbatur, paratae necis Commodi conscium et inter- 
ventorem, ne coniuratio latius puniretur, instigante 
Tigidio per lati clavi honorem a praefecturae ad- 

8 ministratione summovit. post paucos dies insimu- 
lavit eum coniurationis, cum diceret ob hoc 
promissam luliani filio filiam Paterni, ut in lulianum 

1 According to Dio, Ixxii. 5, 2, Paternus had no share in the 

2 Apparently Claudius Pompeianus Quintianus, the son of 
Lucilla's husband, Claudius Pompeianus, by a former mar- 
riage. Herodian speaks of him as a youth at this time. 

s Lucilla was exiled to Capri, where she was put to death ; 
see c. v. 7. 

4 See note to Hadr., xi. 4. 

5 Tigidius Perennis, appointed co-prefect with Paternus in 


6 He was granted the right to wear the broad purple 
stripe on his tunic, the exclusive privilege of the senatorial 



Paternus, the prefect of the guard, 1 to form a plan for 
his assassination. The task of slaying him was as- 
signed to Claudius Pompeiaiius, a kinsman. 2 But he, 
as soon as he had an opportunity to fulfil his mission, 
strode up to Commodus with a drawn sword, and, 
bursting out with these words, " This dagger the 
senate sends thee," betrayed the plot like a fool, and 
failed to accomplish the design, in which many others 
along with himself were implicated. After this 
fiasco, first Pompeianus and Quadratus were executed, 
and then Norbana and Norbanus and Paralius ; and 
the latter's mother and Lucilla were driven into exile. 3 
Thereupon the prefects of the guard, perceiving 
that the aversion in which Commodus was held was 
all on account of Saoterus, whose power the Roman 
people could not endure, courteously escorted this 
man away from the Palace under pretext of a 
sacrifice, and then, as he was returning to his villa, 
had him assassinated by their private agents. 4 But this 
deed enraged Commodus more than the plot against 
Limself. Paternus, the instigator of this murder, 
who was believed to have been an accomplice in the 
plot to assassinate Commodus and had certainly 
sought to prevent any far-reaching punishment of 
that conspiracy, was now, at the instigation of 
Tigidius, 5 dismissed from the command of the prae- 
torian guard by the expedient of conferring on him 
the honour of the broad stripe. 6 And a few days 
thereafter, Commodus accused him of plotting, say- 
ing that the daughter of Paternus had been be- 
trothed to the son of Julianus 7 with the under- 

order. For other instances of the elevation of a prefect of 
the guard into the senatorial order see note to Hadr., viii. 7. 
7 See c. iii. 1-2, and for his execution Dio, Ixxii. 5, 1. 



transferretur imperium. quare et Paternum et lulia- 
num et Vitruvium Secundum, Paterni familiaris- 
simum, qui epistulas imperatcrias curarat, interfecit. 
9 domus praeterea Quintiliorum omnis exstincta, quod 
Sextus Condiani 1 films specie mortis ad defectionem 
10 diceretur evasisse. interfecta et Vitrasia Faustina et 
llVelius Rufus et Egnatius Capito consularis. in exsi- 
lium autem acti sunt Aemilius luncus et Atilius Se- 
verus consules. et in multos alios varie saevitum est. 
V. Post haec Commodus numquam facile in publicum 
processit neque quicquam sibi nuntiari passus est nisi 
2 quod Perennis ante tractasset. Pereniiis autem Corn- 
modi persciens invenit quern ad modum ipse potens 
Sesset. nam persuasit Commodo, ut ipse deliciis 
vacaret, idem vero Perennis curis incumberet. quod 
4 Commodus laetanter accepit. hac igitur lege vivens 
ipse cum trccentis concubinis, quas ex matronarum 
meretricumque dilectu ad formae speciem concivit, 2 
trecentisque aliis puberibus exoletis, quos aeque ex 
plebe ac nobilitate vi pretiisque' 3 forma disceptatrice 
collegerat, in Palatio per convivia et balneas bac- 


Condiani Casaubon ; condiciani P. 2 conduit Egna- 

tius ; concilii P. s ui pretiisque Madvig, Peter 13 ; nuptiisgue 
P ; uultusque Turnebus, Peter 1 . 

1 The brothers Sex. Quintilius Condianus and Sex. Quin- 
tilius Valerius Maximus. According to Dio, Ixxii. 5, 3-4, 
their reputation and wealth caused them to be suspected. 

2 More correctly, the son of Quintilius Valerius Maximus 
and consul in ICO. He was included in the sentence pro- 
nounced against his father and uncle. On his escape see 
Dio, Ixxii. 6. 



standing that Julianus would be raised to the 
throne. On this pretext he executed Paternus 
and Julianus, and also Vitruvius Secundus, a very 
dear friend of Paternus, who had charge of the 
imperial correspondence. Besides this, he exter- 
minated the whole house of the Quintilii, 1 because 
Sextus, the son of Condianus, 2 by pretending death, 
it was said, had made his escape in order to raise a 
revolt. Vitrasia Faustina, Velius Rufus, 3 and Eg- 
natius Capito, a man of consular rank, were all slain. 
Aemilius luncus and Atilius Severus, the consuls, 4 
were driven into exile. And against many others he 
vented his rage in various ways. 

V. After this Commodus never appeared in public 
readily, and would never receive messages unless 
they had previously passed through the hands of 
Perennis 5 . For Perennis, being well acquainted 
with Commodus' character, discovered the way to 
make himself powerful, namely, by persuading 
Commodus to devote himself to pleasure while 
he, Perennis, assumed all the burdens of the 
government an arrangement which Commodus joy- 
fully accepted. Under this agreement, then, Com- 
modus lived, rioting in the Palace amid banquets and 
in baths along with 300 concubines, gathered together 
for their beauty and chosen from both matrons and 
harlots, and with minions, also 300 in number, whom 
he had collected by force and by purchase indiscrim- 
inately from the common people and the nobles 

3 Consul in 178. 

4 The year of their consulship is unknown. They were 
not necessarily consuls in 182. 

5 According to Herodiau, i. 11, 5, he spent most of the 
time in his suburban estate. 



5chabatur. inter haec liabitu victimarii victimas im- 
molavit. in harena rudibus, inter cubicularios gladia- 
tores pugnavit lucentibus aliquando mucronibus. 

6 tune tamen Perennis cuncta sibimet vindicavit. quos 
voluit interemit, spoliavit plurimos, omnia iura sub- 

7 vertit, praedam omnem in sinum contulit. ipse autem 
Commodus Lucillam sororem, cum Capreas misisset, 

Soccidit. sororibus dein suis ceteris, ut dicitur, con- 
stupratis, consobrina patris coraplexibus suis iniuncta 
uni etiam ex coiicubinis matris l nomen imposuit. 

9 uxorem, 2 quam deprehensam in adulterio exegit, 
lOexactam relegavit et postea occidit. ipsas con- 

11 cubinas suas sub oculis suis stuprari iubebat. nee 
inruentium in se iuvenum carebat infamia, omni parte 
corporis atque ore in sexum utrumque pollutus. 

12 Occisus est eo tempore etiam Claudius quasi a la- 
tronibus, cuius filius cum pugione quondam ad Com- 
modum ingressus est, multique alii senatores sine 

ISiudicio interempti, feminae quoque divites. et nou- 
nulli per provincias a Perenni ob divitias insimulati 

14spoliati sunt vel etiam interempti. iis autem quibus 
deerat ficti criminis adpositio obiciebatur, quod 
scribere noluissent 3 Commodum heredem. 

1 matris P ; patris Salmasius, Peter. z inposuit. uxorem 
Heer; inposuit uxoris P, Peter. 3 noluissent Casaubon, 

Baehrens ; uoluissent P, Peter. 

1 Dio, on the other hand, declares that his administration 
was characterized by integrity and restraint ; see Ixxii. 10, 1. 
Herodian (i. 8) has the same point of view as the biography. 

2 See note to c. vii. 7. 



solely on the basis of bodily beauty. Meanwhile, 
dressed in the garb of an attendant at the sacrifice, 
he slaughtered the sacrificial victims. He fought 
in the arena with foils, but sometimes, with his 
chamberlains acting as gladiators, with sharpened 
swords. By this time Perennis had secured all the 
power for himself. He slew whomsoever he wished 
to slay, plundered a great number, violated every 
law, and put all the booty into his own pocket. 1 
Commodus, for his part, killed his sister Lucilla, 
after banishing her to Capri. After debauching his 
other sisters, as it is said, he formed an amour with 
a cousin of his father, 2 and even gave the name of 
his mother to one of his concubines. His wife, 3 whom 
he caught in adultery, he drove from his house, then 
banished her, and later put her to death. By his 
orders his concubines were debauched before his own 
eyes, and he was not free from the disgrace of in- 
timacy with young men, defiling every part of his 
body in dealings with persons of either sex. 

At this time Claudius also, whose son had previ- 
ously come into Commodus' presence with a dagger, 
was slain, 4 ostensibly by bandits, and many other 
senators were put to death, and also certain women 
of wealth. And not a few provincials, for the sake 
of their riches, were charged with crimes by Perennis 
and then plundered or even slain ; and some, against 
whom there was not even the imputation of a fic- 
titious crime, were accused of having been unwilling 
to name Commodus as their heir. 

3 Crispina ; see note to Marc., xxvii. 8. 

4 See c. iv. 2 and note. The biographer has apparently 
confused the father with the son, for Claudius Pompeianus 
was alive in 193 ; see Pert., iv. 10 ; Did. Jul. t viii. 3. 



VI. Eo tern pore in Sarmatia res bene gestas per 

2alios duces in filium suum Perennis referebat. hie 
tamen Perennis, qui tantum potuit, subito, quod 
bello Britannico militibus equestrls loci viros prae- 
fecerat amotis senatoribus, prodita re per legates 
exercitus hostis appellatus laceraiidusque militibus 

3est deditus. in cuius potentiae locum Cleaudrum ex 
cubiculariis subrogavit. 

4 Multa sane post interfectum Perennem eiusque 
filium quasi a se non gesta rescidit, velut in integrum 

5restituens. et hanc quidem paenitentiam scelerum 
ultra triginta dies tenere lion potuit, graviora per 
Cleandrum faciens quam fecerat per supradictum 

6 Perennem. et in potentia quidem Oleander Perenni 
successerat, in praefectura vero Niger, qui sex taiitum 

7horis praefectus praetorio fuisse perhibetur. muta- 
bantur enim praefecti praetorio per horas ac dies, 

1 According to Herodian, i. 9, this son of Perennis, in 
command of the Illyrian troops, formed a conspiracy in the 
army to overthrow Commodus, and the detection of the plot 
led to Perennis' fall and death. 

2 In 184. According to Dio, Ixxii. 8, the Britons living 
north of the boundary- wall invaded the province and anni- 
hilated a detachment of Roman soldiers. They were finally 
defeated by Ulpius Marcellus, and Commodus was acclaimed 
Imperator for the seventh time and assumed the title 
Britannicus ; see c. viii. 4 and coins with the legend Victoria) 
Brit(annica), Cohen, iii 2 , p. 349, no. 945, 

3 An innovation which became general in the third cen- 
tury, when senatorial commanders throughout the empire 
were gradually replaced by equestrian. 

4 According to Dio, Ixxii. 9, it was at the demand of a 
delegation of 1500 soldiers of the army of Britain, whom 
Perennis had censured for mutinous conduct (cf. c. viii. 4). 



VI. About this time the victories in Sarmatia won 
by other generals were attributed by Peremiis to his 
own son. 1 Yet in spite of his great power, sud- 
denly, because in the war in Britain 2 he had dis- 
missed certain senators and had put men of the 
equestrian order in command of the soldiers, 3 this 
same Perennis was declared an enemy to the state, 
when the matter was reported by the legate-* in 
command of the army, and was thereupon delivered 
up to the soldiers to be torn to pieces. 4 In his 
place of power Commodus put Oleander, 5 one of his 185. 

After Perennis and his son were executed, Com- 
modus rescinded a number of measures on the ground 
that they had been carried out without his authority, 
pretending that he was merely re-establishing pre- 
vious conditions. However, he could not maintain 
this penitence for his misdeeds longer than thirty 
days, and he actually committed more atrocious 
crimes through Oleander than he had done through 
the aforesaid Perennis. Although Perennis was suc- 
ceeded in general influence by Oleander, his successor 
in the prefecture was Niger, who held this position as 
prefect of the guard, it is said, for just six hours. In 
fact, prefects of the guard were changed hourly and 

The mutiny was finally quelled by Pertinax; see Pert., iii. 

8 A Phrygian by birth, brought to Rome as a slave; see 
Herodian, i. 12, 3. After securing his freedom he rose in 
the Palace and finally became chamberlain, after bringing 
about the fall and death of his predecessor, Saoterus; see c. 
iv. 5 and Dio, Ixxii. 12, 2. He also contributed to the fall 
of Perennis ; see Dio, Ixxii. 9, 3. He was not made prefect 
until 186, but exercised great influence in his capacity as 
chamberlain (see 6 and 12). 



Commodo peiora omnia, quam fecerat ante, faciente. 
Sfuit Marcius Quartus praefectus praetorio diebus 

quinque. horum successores ad arbitrium Cleandri 
9aut retenti sunt aut occisi. ad cuius nutum etiam 

libertini in senatum 1 atque in patricios lecti sunt, 

tuncque primum viginti quinque consules in unum 

10 annum, venditaeque omnes provinciae. omnia 
Oleander pecunia venditabat ; revocatos de exsilio 

11 dignitatibus ornabat, res iudicatas rescindebat. qui 
tantum per stultitiam Commodi potuit, ut Burrum, 
sororis Commodi virum, reprehendentem nuntiantem- 
que Commodo quae fiebant in suspicionem regui ad- 
fectati traheret et occideret, multis aliis, qui Burrum 

12 defendebant, pariter interemptis. praefectus etiam 
Aebutianus inter hos est interemptus ; in cuius locum 
ipse Cleander cum aliis duobus, quos ipse delegerat, 

13 praefectus est factus. tuncque primum tres praefecti 
praetorio fuere, inter quos libertinus, 2 qui a pugione 
appellatus est. 

VII. Sed et Cleandro dignus tandem vitae finis 
impositus. nam cum insidiis illius Arrius Antoninus 
fictis 3 criminibus in Attali gratiam, quern in pro- 

1 senatuP. 2 libertinus Jordan ; libertinos P. 5 factis 

1 So also Dio, Ixxii. 12, 8-5. 

2 L. Antistius Burrus ; he seems to have been previously 
accused on the same charge by Pertinax ; see Pert,, iii. 7, 



daily, Commodus meanwhile committing all kinds of 
evil deeds, worse even than he had committed before. 
Marcius Quartus was prefect of the guard for five 
days. Thereafter, the successors of these men were 
either retained in office or executed, according to the 
whim of Clearider. At his nod even freedmen were 
enrolled in the senate and among the patricians, and 
now for the first time there were twenty-five consuls 
in a single year. Appointments to the provinces 139 
were uniformly sold ; in fact, Oleander sold everything 
for money. 1 He loaded with honours men who were 
recalled from exile ; he rescinded decisions of the 
courts. Indeed, because of Commodus' utter de- 
generacy, his power was so great that he brought 
Burrus, 2 the husband of Commodus' sister, who was 
denouncing and reporting to Commodus all that was 
being done, under the suspicion of pretending to the 
throne, and had him put to death ; and at the same 
time he slew many others who defended Burrus. 
Among these Aebutianus was slain, the prefect of 
the guard ; in his place Cleander himself was made 
prefect, together with two others whom he himself 
chose. Then for the first time were there three 
prefects of the guard, among whom was a freedman, 
called the " Bearer of the Dagger". 3 

VII. However, a full worthy death was at last meted 
out to Cleander also. For when, through his intrigues, 
Arrius Antoninus 4 was put to death on false charges 
as a favour to Attalus, whom Arrius had condemned 

3 i.e. Cleander himself. The dagger was the symbol of 
the office of prefect. 

4 Together with Burrus he had been accused by Pertinax 
of aspiring to the throne (see Pert., iii. 7), but he seems to 
have been a highly respected man and official. 



consulatu Asiae damnaverat, esset occisus, nee earn 
turn invidiam populo saeviente Commodus ferre 
2potuisset, plebi ad poenam donatus est, cum etiam 
Apolaustus aliique liberti aulici pariter interempti 
sunt. Oleander inter cetera etiam concubinas eius 

3 constupravit, de quibus filios suscepit, qui post eius 
interitum cum matribus interempti sunt. 

4 In cuius locum lulianus et Regillus subrogati sunt, 
5quos et ipsos postea poenis adfecit. his occisis in- 

teremit Servilium et Dulium Silanos cum suis, mox 
Antium Lupum et Petronios Mamertinum et Suram 
filiumque Mamertini Antoninum ex sorore sua geni- 

6 turn, et post eos sex simul ex consulibus Allium 
Fuscum, Caelium Felicem, Lucceium Torquatum, 
Larcium Eurupianum, Valevium Bassianum, Pac- 

7tumeium l Magnum cum suis, atque in Asia Sulpicium 
Crassum pro consule et lulium Proculum cum suis 
Claudiumque Lucanum consularem et consobrinam 
patris sui Faustinam Anniam in Achaia et alios in- 

8 finitos. destinaverat et alios quattuordecim occidere, 
cum sumptus eius vires 2 Romani imperil sustinere 
non possent. 

1 Pactum&ium Casaubon; Pactuleium P. 2 u'.res Ur- 
sinus ; iuriis P 1 ; iniuriis P corr. 

J In 189, on the occasion of a riot due to a lack of grain, 
for which the mob held Oleander responsible; see Dio, 
Ixxii. 13. 

2 See Ver. t viii. 10. 

3 He married one of them, Damostratia, according to 
Dio, Ixxii. 12, 1. 

4 For Julianus' death see Dio, Ixxii. 14, 1. He is prob- 
ably to be identified with L. Julius Vehilius Gratus Julianus, 
whose interesting career is recorded in an inscription from 
Rome ; see Dessau, Ins. Sel., 1327. 

6 Perhaps M. Servilius Silanus, consul in 188. 



during his proconsulship in Asia, Oommodus could 
not endure the hatred of the enraged people and 
gave Oleander over to the populace for punishment. 1 
At the same time Apolaustus 2 and several other 
freedmen of the court were put to death. Among 
other outrages Oleander had debauched certain of 
Commodus' concubines, 3 and from them had begotten 
sons, who, together with their mothers, were put to 
death after his downfall. 

As successors to Oleander Commodus appointed 
Julianus and Regillus, both of whom he afterwards 
condemned. 4 After these men had been put to 
death he slew the two Silani, Servilius 5 and Dulius, 
together with their kin, then Antius Lupus 6 and the 
two Petronii, Mamertinus and Sura, 7 and also Mamer- 
tinus' son Antoninus, whose mother was his own 
sister ; 8 after these, six former consuls at one time, 
Allius Fuscus, Caelius Felix, Lucceius Torquatus, 
Larcius Eurupianus, Valerius Bassianus and Pactu- 
meius Magnus, 9 all with their kin ; in Asia Sulpicius 
Crassus, the proconsul, Julius Proculus, together with 
their kin, and Claudius Lucanus, a man of consular 
rank ; and in Achaia his father's cousin, Annia Faus- 
tina, 10 and innumerable others. He had intended to 
kill fourteen others also, since the revenues of the 
Roman empire were insufficient to meet his expendi- 

6 His grave-inscription is preserved; see C.I.L., vi. 1343. 

7 The brothers M. Petronius Sura Mamertinus and M. 
Petronius Sura Septimianus were consuls in 182 and 190 

8 Perhaps Cornificia. 9 Consul in 183. 

10 Annia Fundania Faustina, daughter of M. Annius 
Libo, Marcus' uncle (see Marc., i. 3). She is probably the 
woman referred to in c. v. 8. 



VIII. Inter haec Commodus senatu semet in- 
ridente, 1 cum adulterum matris consulem designasset, 
appellatus est Pius ; cum occidisset Perennem, ap- 
pellatus est Felix, inter plurimas caedes multorum 

2 civium quasi quidam novus Sulla, idem Commodus, 
ille Pius, ille Felix, finxisse etiam quandam contra se 

3 coniurationem dicitur, ut multos occideret. nee alia 
ulla fuit defectio praeter Alexandri, qui postea se et 

4 suos interemit, et 2 sororis Lucillae. appeilatus est 
Commodus etiam Britannicus ab adulatoribus, cum 
Britanni etiam imperatorem contra eum deligere 

5 voluerint. appellatus est etiam Romanus Hercules, 
quod feras Lanuvii 3 in amphitheatre occidisset. erat 
enim haec illi consuetude, ut domi bestias interficeret. 

6 fuit praeterea ea dementia, ut urbem Romanam 
coloniam Commodianam vocari voluerit. qui 4 furor 

3 senatu semet inridente Peter 2 ; senatu semcttridente P 1 ; 
senatu ridente Peter l . 2 et om. in P. 3 lanuuium P. 

4 cui P. 

1 Probably L. Tutilius Pontianus Gentianus, said to have 
been one of Faustina's lovers (see Marc. xxix. 1), and consul 
suffectus in 183, the year in which the name Pius was be- 
stowed on Commodus. 

2 The name is borne by Commodus in the Acts of the 
Arval Brothers for 7 Jan., 183 ; see C.I.L., vi. 2099, 12. It 
also appears on the coins of 183, e.g. Cohen, iii 2 , p. 229, 
no. 13 ; the real reason for its assumption is not known. 

3 This name appears on his coins of 185 ; e.g. Cohen, iii 8 , 
p. 233, no. 49. It had been assumed as a cognomen by the 
Dictator Sulla. 

4 Julius Alexander, from Emesa in Syria. According to 
Dio, Ixxii. 14, 1-3, his execution was ordered because he had 
speared a lion while on horseback ; he killed those sent to 
execute him and then made his escape, but was overtaken. 

5 See c. iv. 1-4. 

6 An allusion to the mutiny in Britain ; see note to c. vi. 2. 



VIII. Meanwhile, because he had appointed to the 
consulship a former lover of his mother's, 1 the senate 183 
mockingly gave Commodus the name Pius ; 2 and 
after he had executed Perennis, he was given the 
name Felix, 3 as though, amid the multitudinous 185 
executions of many citizens, he were a second Sulla. 
And this same Commodus, who was called Pius, and 
who was called Felix, is said to have feigned a plot 
against his own life, in order that he might have an 
excuse for putting many to death. Yet as a matter 
of fact, there were no rebellions save that of Alex- 
ander, 4 who soon killed himself and his near of kin, 
and that of Commodus' sister Lucilla. 5 He was 
called Britannicus by those who desired to flatter 
him, whereas the Britons even wished to set up an 
emperor against him. 6 He was called also the 
Roman Hercules, 7 on the ground that he had killed 192 
wild beasts in the amphitheatre at Lanuvium ; and, 
indeed, it was his custom to kill wild beasts on his 
own estate. He had, besides, an insane desire that 
the city of Rome should be renamed Colonia Com- 
modiana. 8 This mad idea, it is said, was inspired in 

7 See also 9. Romanus Hercules appears among his 
titles as given by Dio, Ixxii. 15, 5, and also in an inscription 
of Dec., 192 ; see C.I.I/., xiv. 3449 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 400. 
He had the lion's skin and club, the attributes of Hercules, 
carried before him in the streets (Dio, Ixxii. 17, 4), and had 
himself portrayed as Hercules on coins (Cohen, iii 2 , p. 251 f., 
nos. 180-210), and in statues (c. ix. 2 ; Dio, Ixxii. 15, 6), e.g. 
the famous bust in the Gapitoline Museum, Rome. 

8 So also Dio, Ixxii. 15, 2. Col(onia) L(ucia) An(toniniana) 
Com(modiana) appears on coins of 190 ; see Cohen, iii a , p. 
233, nos. 39-40. He also gave the name Commodianus to 
the senate ( 9 and Dio, ibid.), the people (c. xv. 5), the 
Palace (c. xii. 7), the legions (Dio, ibid.), the city of Carthage, 
and the African fleet (c. xvii. 8). 



7 dicitur ei inter delenimenta Marciae iniectus. voluit 
Setiam in Circo quadrigas agitare. dalniaticatus in 
publico processit atque ita signuni quadrigis emit- 
9 tendis dedit. et eo quidem tempore quo ad senatum 
rettulit de Commodiana facienda Roma, non solum 
senatus hoc libenter accepit per inrisionem, quan- 
tum intellegitur, sed etiam se ipsum Commodianum 
vocavit, Commodum Herculem et deum appellans. 

IX. Simulavit se et in Africam iturum, ut sump- 
turn itinerarium exigeret, et exegit eumque in con- 
2vivia et aleam convertit. Motilenum, praefectum 
praetorii, per ficus veneno interemit. accepit statuas 
in Herculis habitu, eique immolatum est ut deo. 
Smultos praeterea paraverat interimere. quod per 
parvulum quendam proditum est, qui tabulam e 
cubiculo eiecit, in qua occidendorum erant nomina 

4 Sacra Isidis coluit, ut et caput raderet et Anubim 
Sportaret. Bellonae servientes vere exsecare brac- 
Gchium praecepit studio crudelitatis. Isiacos vere 

1 His mistress, who afterwards conspired against him ; see 
c. xvii. 1. 

2 Called chiridotae Dalmatarum in Pert., viii. 2. It was a 
long-sleeved tunic reaching to the knee. Dio describes it 
(Ixxii. 17, 2) as made of white silk with gold threads. 

3 See note to c. viii. 5. 

4 An Egyptian deity regarded as the protector of corpses 
and tombs and represented with the head of a jackal, or, by 
the Greeks and Romans, with that of a dog. His cult was 
often combined with that of Isis, and according to Juvenal 



him while listening to the blandishments of Marcia. 1 
He had also a desire to drive chariots in the Circus, 
and he went out in public clad in the Dalmatian 
tunic 2 and thus clothed gave the signal for the 
charioteers to start. And in truth, on the occasion 
when he laid before the senate his proposal to call 
Rome Commocliana, not only did the senate gleefully 
pass this resolution, out of mockery, as far as we 
know, but also took the name " Commodian " to itself, 
at the same time giving Commodus the name Her- 
cules, and calling him a. god. 

IX. He pretended once that he was going to Africa, 
so that he could get funds for the journey, then got 
them and spent them on banquets and gaming instead. 
He murdered Motilenus, the prefect of the guard, by 
means of poisoned figs. He allowed statues of him- 
self to be erected with the accoutrements of Her- 
cules ; 3 and sacrifices were performed to him as to a 
god. He had planned to execute many more men 
besides, but his plan was betrayed by a certain young 
servant, who threw out of his bedroom a tablet on 
which were written the names of those who were to 
be killed. 

He practised the worship of Isis and even went so 
far as to shave his head and carry a statue of Anubis. 4 
In his passion for cruelty he actually ordered the 
votaries of Bellona to cut off one of their arms, 5 and 
as for the devotees of Isis, he forced them to beat 

(vi. 534), the chief priest of Isis was often dressed as 

5 The cult of Bellona, brought to Rome from Asia Minor in 
the time of Sulla, was characterised by orgiastic mui-ic and 
dances, in which the votaries, like Mohammedan dervishes, 
slashed their arms and bodies ; for a description see Tibullus, 
i. 6, 45 f. 



pineis usque ad perniciem pectus tundere cogebat. 
cum Anubim portaret, capita Isiacorum graviter ob- 
tundebat ore simulacri. clava non solum leones in 
veste muliebri et pelle leonina sed etiam homines 
multos adflixit. debiles pedibus et eos, qui ambu- 
lare non possent, in gigantum modum formavit, ita 
ut a genibus l de pannis et lintels quasi dracones 
tegerentur, 2 eosdemque sagittis confecit. sacra 
Mithriaca homicidio vero polluit, cum illic 3 aliquid 
ad speciem timoris vel dici vel fingi soleat. 

X. Etiam puer et gulosus et impudicus fuit. adules- 
cens omne genus hominum infamavit quod erat 
2secum, et ab omnibus est infamatus. inridentes se 
feris obiciebat. eum etiam, qui Tranquil li librum 
vitam Caligulae continentem legerat, feris obici iussit, 
quia eundem diem natalis habuerat, quern et Caligula. 

3 si quis sane 4 se mori velle praedixisset, hunc invitum 
praecipitari iubebat. 

In iocis quoque perniciosus. nam eum, 5 quern 

4 vidisset albescentes inter nigros capillos quasi ver- 

1 gentibus P. 2 tegerentur Petschenig, Peter 2 ; degerer- 

entur P, Peter 1 . 3 illihic P. 4 sane P, Peter ; ante 

Mom m sen. 5 eum Jordan ; earn P. 

1 i.e. dressed as Hercules ; see note to c. viii. 5. 

2 According to Dio, Ixxii. 20, he actually attached figures 
of serpents to their legs. The performance was an imitation 
of the mythical combats between the gods and the giants, in 
which the latter are usually represented, e.g. on the great 
altar from Pergamum, as having serpents for legs. 



their breasts with pine-cones even to the point of 
death. While he was carrying about the statue of 
Anubis, he used to smite the heads of the devotees 
of Isis with the face of the statue. He struck with 
his club, while clad in a woman's garment or a lion's 
skin, 1 not lions only, but many men as well. Certain 
men who were lame in their feet and others who 
could not walk, he dressed up as giants, encasing 
their legs from the knee down in wrappings and 
bandages to make them look like serpents, 2 and then 
despatched them with his arrows. He desecrated the 
rites of Mithra 3 with actual murder, although it was 
customary in them merely to say or pretend some- 
thing that would produce an impression of terror. 

X. Even as a child he was gluttonous and lewd. 4 
While a youth, he disgraced every class of men in his 
company and was disgraced in turn by them. Who- 
soever ridiculed him he cast to the wild beasts. And 
one man, who had merely read the book by Tran- 
quillus 5 containing the life of Caligula, he ordered 
cast to the wild beasts, because Caligula and he had 
the same birthday. 6 And if any one, indeed, ex- 
pressed a desire to die, he had him hurried to death, 
however really reluctant. 

In his humorous moments, too, he was destructive. 
For example, he put a starling on the head of one 

3 A Persian deity, whose cult was brought to Rome in the 
time of Pompey, and became very popular about the end of 
the first century after Christ. In the course of the next 
two centuries the god, under the name Sol Invictus Mithras, 
was worshipped throughout the Empire, and his cult was 
probably the most formidable rival of Christianity. 

4 But see note to c. i. 7. 

5 i.e. Suetonius; see note to Hadr., xi. 3. 
6 See c. L 2, and Suetonius, Caligula, viii. 1. 



miculos habere, sturno adposito, qui se vermes sectari 
crederet, capite suppuratum reddebat obtunsione oris. 1 

5 pinguem hominem medio ventre dissicuit, ut eius 

6 intestina subito funderentur. monopodios et luscinios 
eos, quibus ant singulos tulisset oculos 2 aut singulos 

7 pedes fregisset, appellabat. multos praeterea passim 
exstinxit alios, quia barbarico habitu occurrerant, 

8 alioSj quia nobiles et speciosi erant. babuit in deliciis 
homines appellatos nominibus verendorum utriusque 

9 sexus, quos libentius suis osculis 3 applicabat. habuit 
et hominem pene prominente ultra modum animalium, 
quern Onon appellabat, sibi carissimum. quern et 
ditavit et sacerdotio Herculis rustici praeposuit. 

XL dicitur saepe pretiosissimis cibis humana stercora 

miscuisse nee abstinuisse gustum aliis, ut putabat, 
2 inrisis. duos gibbos retortos in lance argentea sibi 

sinapi perfuses exhibuit eosdemque statim promovit 
Sac ditavit. praefectum praetorii suum lulianum 

togatum praesente officio suo in piscinam detrusit. 

quern saltare etiam nudum ante concubinas suas iussit 
4quatientem cymbala deformato vultu. genera 4 legu- 

minum coctorum ad convivium propter luxuriae con- 
5 tinuationem raro vocavit. lavabat per diem septies 

1 obtunsione oris Petschenig, Peter 3 ; obtunsioneris P ; 06- 
tunsionibus Peter 1 . 2 oculos om. in P 1 , add. in P corr. 

3 osculis Ursinus ; oculis P. 4 genera . . . uocauit P, 

Peter 2 ; genere . . . uacauit Salmasius, Peter. 1 

l i.e. ass. 

2 Apparently a private cult, carried on in one of the em- 
peror's suburban estates. 

3 See c. vii. 4. 



man who, as he noticed, had a few white hairs, re- 
sembling worms, among the black, and caused his 
head to fester through the continual pecking of the 
bird's beak the bird, of course, imagining that it 
was pursuing worms. One corpulent person he cut 
open down the middle of his belly, so that his in- 
testines gushed forth. Other men he dubbed one- 
eyed or one-footed, after he himself had plucked out 
one of their eyes or cut off one of their feet. In ad- 
dition to all this, he murdered many others in many 
places, some because they came into his presence in 
the costume of barbarians, others because they were 
noble and handsome. He kept among his minions 
certain men named after the private parts of both 
sexes, and on these he liked to bestow kisses. He also 
had in his company a man with a male member larger 
than that of most animals, whom he called Onos. 1 
This man he treated with great affection, and he 
even made him rich and appointed him to the priest- 
hood of the Rural Hercules. 2 XI. It is claimed 
that he often mixed human excrement with the most 
expensive foods, and he did not refrain from tasting 
them, mocking the rest of the company, as he thought. 
He displayed two misshapen hunchbacks on a silver 
platter after smearing them with mustard, and then 
straightway advanced 'and enriched them. He 
pushed into a swimming-pool his praetorian prefect 
Julianus, 3 although he was clad in his toga and ac- 
companied by his staff; and he even ordered this 
same Julianus to dance naked before his concubines, 
clashing cymbals and making grimaces. The various 
kinds of cooked vegetables he rarely admitted to his 
banquets, his purpose being to preserve unbroken the 
succession of dainties. He used to bathe seven and 



6atque octies et in ipsis balneis edebat. adibat 1 
deorum templa pollutus 2 stupris et humano sanguine. 

7imitatus est et medicum, ut sanguinem hominibus 
emitteret scalpris feralibus. 

8 Menses quoque in honorem eius pro Augusto Com- 
modum, pro Septembri Herculera, pro Octobri In- 
victum, pro Novembri Exsuperatorium, pro Decembri 
Amazonium ex signo ipsius adulatores vocabant. 

9 Amazonius autera vocatus est ex amore concubinae 
suae Marciae, quam pictam in Amazone diligebat, 
propter quam et ipse Amazonico habitu in arenam 
Romanam procedere voluit. 

10 Gladiatorium etiam certamen subiit et nomina 
gladiatorum recepit eo gaudio quasi acciperet trium- 

11 phalia. ludum semper 3 ingressus est et, quotiens in- 

12 grederetur, publicis monumentis indi iussit. pugnasse 
autem dicitur septingenties tricies quinquies. 

13 Nominatus inter Caesares quartum iduum Octobrium, 
quas Herculeas postea nominavit, Pudente et Polli- 

14 one consulibus. appellatus German icus idibus Hercu- 

1 adibat ins. by Klein. 2 pollutus P; polluit Peter. 

8 semper P, Lenze ; saepe Casaubon, Peter. 

1 Similar mutilations are recorded by Dio, Ixxii. 17, 2. 

2 The complete list of the new names as given to the months 
is contained in Dio, Ixxii. 15, 3. They are all Commodus' own 
names and titles. In Dio's enumeration the new names are 
applied differently from the list as given here, but the dates 
given in c. xi.-xii. accord with Dio, and comparison with 
known events shows that his is the correct order. 

3 See note to c. viii. 6. 

4 For a description of a spectacle lasting fourteen days, in 
which Commodus fought with wild beasts and gladiators, see 
Dio, Ixxii. 18-21. 

8 See c. xv. 8. 6 Of. c. xv. 4. 7 But see c. xii. 11. 



eight times a day, and was in the habit of eating 
while in the baths. He would enter the temples of 
the gods defiled with adulteries and human blood. 
He even aped a surgeon, going so far as to bleed 
men to death with scalpels. 1 

Certain months were renamed in his honour by his 
flatterers ; for August they substituted Commodus, 
for September Hercules, for October Invictus, for 
November Exsuperatorius, and for December 
Amazonius, after his own surname. 2 He had been 
called Amazonius, moreover, because of his passion 
for his concubine Marcia, 3 whom he loved to have 
portrayed as an Amazon, and for whose sake he even 
wished to enter the arena of Rome dressed as an 

He engaged in gladiatorial combats, 4 and accepted 
the names usually given to gladiators 5 with as much 
pleasure as if he had been granted triumphal decora- 
tions. He regularly took part in the spectacles, and 
as often as he did so, ordered the fact to be inscribed 
in the public records. 6 It is said that he engaged 
in gladiatorial bouts seven hundred and thirty-five 
times. 7 

He received the name of Caesar on the fourth day 
before the Ides of the month usually called October, 12 Oct., 
which he later named Hercules, 8 in the consulship of 
Pudens and Pollio. 9 He was called Germanicus 10 on 

the Ides of " Hercules " in the consulship of Maxi- 15 Oct., 


8 On these names of the months see note to c. xi. 8. 

9 For these dates see c. ii. 1-5, and notes. 

10 The surname was doubtless assumed by Commodus at 
the same time that it was taken by Marcus (see note to Marc., 
xii. 9). It appears on a coin of Marcus and Commodus of 
172 ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 133, no. 2. 



XII. leis Maximo et Orfito consulibus. adsuraptus est in 

omnia collegia sacerdotalia sacerdos XIII kal. Invictas 

2 Pisone luliano consulibus. profectus in Germaniam 

3XIIII kal. Aelias, ut postea nominavit. iisdera con- 

4sulibus togam virilem accepit. cum patre appellatus 

imperator V kal. Exsuperatorias Pollione et Apro 

5 iterum 1 consulibus. triumphavit X kal. Ian. iisdem 

6 consulibus. iterum profectus III nonas Commodias 

7 Orfito et Rufo consulibus. datus in perpetuum ab 
exercitu et senatu in domo Palatina Commodiana con- 
servandus XI kal. Romaiias Praesente iterum consule. 

8 tertio meditans de profectione a senatu et populo suo 

9 retentus est. vota pro eo lacta sunt nonis Piis 

10 Fusciano iterum consule. inter haec refertur in 
litteras pugnasse ilium sub patre trecenties sexagies 

11 quinquies. 2 item postea tantum palmarum gladia- 
toriarum confecisse vel victis retiariis vel occisis, ut 

12mille contingeret. ferarum autem diversarum manu 
sua occidit, ita ut elephantos occideret, multa milia. 
et haec fecit spectante saepe populo Romano. 

XIII. Fuit autem validus ad haec, alias debilis et 
innrmus, vitio etiam inter inguina prominenti, ita ut 

1 so Peter ; iterum et AJJTO P. " quinties P. 

1 The official language describing his enthronement. 

2 See note to c. viii. 6. 

3 Perhaps because of the plague (see Marc., xiii. 3) which 
seems to have broken out again about this time; see Dio, 
Ixxii. 14, 3; Herodian, i. 12, 1-2. 

4 A gladiator provided with a heavy net in which he tried 
to entangle his opponent; if successful he then killed him 
with a dagger. 

B But see c. xi. 12. 6 See iiote to c. xi. 10. 



mus and Orfitus. XII. He was received into all the 
sacred colleges as a priest on the thirteenth day 20 Jan. 
before the Kalends of " Invictus," in the consulship 175 
of Piso and Julianus. He set out for Germany on 
the fourteenth day before the Kalends of the month 19 May, 
which he later named Aelius, and assumed the toga 175 
in the same year. Together with his father he was 
acclaimed Imperator on the fifth day before the 27 Nov., 
Kalends of " Exsuperatorius," in the year when 17 6 
Pollio and A per served their second consulships, and 
he celebrated a triumph on the tenth day before the 23 Dec., 
Kalends of January in this same year. He set out 
on his second expedition on the third day before the 3 Aug., 
Nones of " Commodus " in the consulship of Orfitus 
and Rufus. He was officially presented by the 
army and the senate to be maintained in perpetuity 
in the Palatine mansion, 1 henceforth called Commodi- 
ana/ 2 on the eleventh day before the Kalends of 22 Oct., 
"Romanus," in the year that Praesens was consul 
for the second time. When he laid plans for a third 
expedition, he was persuaded by the senate and 
people to give it up. Vows 3 were assumed in his 
behalf on the Nones of "Pius/' when Fuscianus was 5 April, 
consul for the second time. Besides these facts, it is 
related in records that he fought 365 gladiatorial 
combats in his father's reign. Afterwards, by van- 
quishing o: slaying retiarii, 4 he won enough gladia- 
torial crowns to bring the number up to a thousand. 5 
He also killed with his own hand thousands of wild 
beasts of all kinds, even elephants. And he fre- 
quently did these things before the eyes of the Roman 
people. 6 

XIII. But, though vigorous enough for such ex- 
ploits, he was otherwise weak and diseased ; indeed, 



eius tumorem per sericas vestes populus Romanus 

2 agnosceret. versus in eo multi script! sunt, de quibus 

3 etiam in opere suo Marius Maximus gloriatur. virium 
ad conficiendas feras tantarum fuit, ut elephantum 
conto transfigeret l et orygis cornu basto transmiserit 
et singulis ictibus multa milia ferarum ingentium con- 

4ficeret. impudentiae tantae fuit, ut cum muliebri 
veste in arnphi theatre vel theatre sedens publice 
saepissime biberit. 

5 Victi sunt sub eo tamen, cum ille sic viveret, per 
legates Mauri, victi Daci, Pannoniae quoque com- 
positae, in - Britannia, in Germania et in Dacia im- 

6 perium eius recusantibus provincialibus. quae omnia 

7 ista per duces sedata sunt. ipse Commodus in sub- 
scribendo tardus et neglegens, ita ut libellis una 
forma multis subscriberet, in epistulis autem plurimis 

8 ' Vale ' tantum scriberet. agebanturque omnia per 
alios, qui etiam condemnationes in sinum vertisse 

XIV. dicuntur. per hanc autem negiegentiam, cum et 
annonam vastarent ii qui tune rein publicam gerebant, 

1 transigeret P. 2 in om. in P. 

1 An inscription from Mauretania, set up between 184 and 
the death of Commodus, records the construction and repair 
of redoubts along the border, and is probably to be connected 
with this outbreak; see Dessau, Ins. Sel., 396. This may 
also be the revolt alluded to in Pert., iv. 2. 

2 Probably in 182, when Commodus was acclaimed Im- 
perator for the fii f th time (see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 337, nos. 840- 
847). A large number of Dacians who had been driven from 
their homes were granted land in Roman territory ; see Dio, 
Ixxii. 3, 3. 



he had such a conspicuous growth on his groin that 
the people of Rome could see the swelling through his 
silken robes. Many verses were written alluding to 
this deformity ; and Marius Maximus prides himself 
on preserving these in his biography of Commodus. 
Such was his prowess in the slaying of wild beasts, 
that he once transfixed an elephant with a pole, 
pierced a gazelle's horn with a spear, and on a 
thousand occasions dispatched a mighty beast with a 
single blow. Such was his complete indifference to 
propriety, that time and again he sat in the theatre 
or amphitheatre dressed in a woman's garments 
and drank quite publicly. 

The Moors l and the Dacians 2 were conquered 
during his reign, and peace was established in the 
Pannonias, 3 but all by his legates, since such was the 
manner of his life. The provincials in Britain, 4 Dacia, 
and Germany 5 attempted to cast off his yoke, but all 
these attempts were put down by his generals. 
Commodus himself was so lazy and careless in signing 
documents that he answered many petitions with the 
same formula, while in very many letters he merely 
wrote the word " Farewell ". All official business was 
carried on by others, who, it is said, even used con- 
demnations to swell their purses. XIV. And because 
he was so careless, moreover, a great famine arose in 

3 An inscription of 185 records the construction of redoubts 
along the Danube; see C.I. If., Hi. 3385 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 

4 See c. vi. 2 and note. 

5 Probably in 187-188. It is referred to in an inscription as 
expeditio felicissima tertia Germanica ; see C.I.L., v. 2155 
= Dessau, Ins. Sel., 1574. According to c. xii. 8, Commodus 
wished to lead the expedition but the " senate and people " 
would not allow it. 



etiam inopia ingens Romae exorta est, cum fruges 

2 non l deessent. et eos quidem qui omnia vastabaiit 

3 postea Commodus occidit atque proscripsit. ipse vero 
saeculum aureum Commodianum nomine adsimulans 
vilitatem proposuit, ex qua rnaiorem penuriam fecit. 

4 Multi sub eo et alienam poenam et salutem suam 

5 pecunia redemerunt. vendidit etiam suppliciorum 
diversitates et sepulturas et imninutiones malorum et 

6 alios pro aliis occidit. vendidit etiam provincias et 
administrationes, cum ii per quos veiideret partem 

7 acciperent, partem vero Commodus. vendidit non- 
nullis et inimicorum suorum caedes. vendiderunt 

8 sub eo etiam eventus litium liberti. praefectos 
Paternum et Perennem non diu tulit, ita tameii ut 
etiam de iis praefectis quos ipse fecerat triennium 
iiullus impleret, quorum plurimos interfecit vel veiieno 
vel gladio. et praefectos urbi eadem facilitate mutavit. 

XV. cubicularios suos libenter occidit, cum omnia ex nutu 

2 eorum semper fecisset. Eclectus 2 cubicularius cum 
videret eum tarn facile cubicularios occidere, praevenit 
eum et faction! mortis eius interiuit. 

3 Spectator gladiatoria sumpsit arma, panno purpureo 
4nudos umeros advelans. habuit praeterea inorem, ut 

1 So P (Ballou in " Class. Philol.," iii. p. 273) ; et non in P 
ace. to Peter. 2 Eclectus Mommsen, Peter; electus P. 

1 See note to c. vii. 1. 

3 It was enacted by special decree, according to Dio, Ixxii. 

3 See c. iv. 7-8 and vi. 2. 

4 Of. c. vi. 6-8; vii. 4; ix. 2. Even Oleander was prefect 
only from 186 to 189. 

5 He had been a freedman and favourite of Lucius Verus ; 
see Ver., ix. 6. 

fi See c. xvii. 1. 



Rome, not because there was any real shortage of 
crops, but merely because those whothen ruled the state 
were plundering the food supply. 1 As for those who 
plundered on every hand, Commodus afterwards put 
them to death and confiscated their property ; but 
for the time he pretended that a golden age had 
come, 2 " Commodian " by name, and ordered a general 
reduction of prices, the result of which was an even 
greater scarcity. 

In his reign many a man secured punishment for 
another or immunity for himself by bribery. Indeed, 
in return for money Commodus would grant a change 
of punishment, the right of burial, the alleviation of 
wrongs, and the substitution of another for one con- 

O " 

demned to be put to death. He sold provinces and 
administrative posts, part of the proceeds accruing to 
those through whom he made the sale and part to 
Commodus himself. To some he sold even the 
lives of their enemies. Under him the imperial 
freedmen sold even the results of law-suits. He did 
not long put up with Paternus and Perennis as pre- 
fects ; 3 indeed, not one of the prefects whom he him- 
self had appointed remained in office as long as three 
years. 4 Most of them he killed, some with poison, 
some with the sword. , XV. Prefects of the city 
he changed with equal readiness. He executed his 
chamberlains with no compunctions whatever, even 
though all that he had done had been at their bidding. 
One of these chamberlains, however, Eclectus by 
name, 5 forestalled him when he saw how ready 
Commodus was to put the chamberlains to death, and 
took part in a conspiracy to kill him. 6 

At gladiatorial shows he would come to watch and 
stay to fight, covering his bare shoulders with a purple 



omnia quae turpiter, quae impure, quae crudeliter, 
quae gladiatorie, quae lenonie faceret, actis urbis indi 

5 iuberet, ut Marii Maximi scripta testantur. Commo- 
dianum etiam populum Romanum dixit, quo saepis- 

6sirne praesente gladiator pugnavit. sane cum illi 
saepe pugnanti ut deo populus favisset, inrisum se 
credens populum Romanum a militibus classiariis, 
qui vela ducebant, in amphitheatre interimi prae- 

7ceperat. urbem incendi iusserat, utpote coloniam 
suam. quod factum esset, nisi Laetus praefectus 

Spraetorii Commodum deterruisset. appellatus est 
sane inter cetera triumphalia nomina etiam sescenties 
vicies Palus Primus Secutorum. 

XVI. Prodigia eius imperio et publice et privatim 

2 haec facta sunt : crinita stella apparuit. vestigia 
deorum in foro visa sunt exeuntia. et ante bellum 
desertorum caelum arsit. et repentina caligo ac 
tenebra in Circo kalendis lanuariis oborta ; et ante 

1 The Ada Urbis or Acta Diurna was a publication begun 
by Julius Caesar and continued by his successors, which con- 
tained official announcements, and general news that the 
government desired to convey to the public. 

2 Of. c. xi. 11. 3 See c. viii. 6 and note. 
4 See c. xi. 10 and note. 

6 In 192 a fire devastated the district east of the Forum and 
a portion of the Palatine ; see Dio, Ixxii. 24, and Herodian, i. 
14, 2-6. This seems to be the fire here alluded to, but accord- 
ing to Dio, Commodus was in no way responsible for it. 
After rebuilding what the fire had destroyed, Commodus as- 
sumed the title Conditar ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 251 f., nos. 181- 

6 See c. xvii. 1. 

7 According to Dio, Ixxii. 22, 3, this was engraved along with 
his other titles on the Colossus (see c. xvii. 10). The term 



cloth. And it was his custom, moreover, to order 
the insertion in the city-gazette l of everything he 
did that was base or foul or cruel, or typical of a 
gladiator 2 or a procurer at least, the writings of 
Marius Maximus so testify. He entitled the 
Roman people the " People of Commodus," 3 since he 
had very often fought as a gladiator in their presence. 4 
And although the people regularly applauded him in 
his frequent combats as though he were a god, he be- 
came convinced that he was being laughed at, and 
gave orders that the Roman people should be slain in 
the Amphitheatre by the marines who spread the 
awnings. He gave an order, also, for the burning of 
the city, 5 as though it were his private colony, and 
this order would have been executed had not Laetus, 6 
the prefect of the guard, deterred him. Among 
other triumphal titles, he was also given the name 
" Captain of the Secutores " 7 six hundred and twenty 

XVI. The prodigies that occurred in his reign, both 
those which concerned the state and those which 
affected Commodus personally, were as follows. A 
comet appeared. Footprints of the gods were seen in 
the Forum departing from it. Before the war of the 

deserters 8 the heavens were ablaze. On the Kalends i Jan., 

primus palus is formed on the analogy of primus pilus, the 

first centurion of a legion. The palus was the wooden pike 
used by gladiators in practice. A secutor wore a helmet and 
greaves and was armed with a long shield and a sword. 

8 An outbreak in Gaul in 186, headed by a soldier named 
Maternus, who gathered a band of fellow-soldiers and desper- 
adoes and plundered the country. The Roman troops under 
Pescennius Niger defeated and scattered them ; whereupon, 
Maternus himself fled to Italy and attempted to assassinate 
Commodus, but was caught and beheaded ; see Herodian, i. 
10, and Pesc. Nig., iii. 4. 



3 lucem fuerant etiam incendiariae aves ac dirae. de 
Palatio ipse ad Caelium montem in Vectilianas aedes 

4 migravit, negans se in Palatio posse clormire. Ian us 
geminus sua sponte apertus est, et Anubis simulacrum 

Smarmoreum moveri visum est. Herculis signum 
aeiieum sudavit in Minucia per plures dies, bubo 
etiam supra cubiculum eius deprehensa est tarn Romae 

6quam Lanuvii. ipse autem prod igium non leve sibi 
fecit ; nam cum in gladiatoris occisi vulnus mauum 
misisset, ad caput s ; bi detersit, et contra consuetudi- 
nem paenulatos iussit spectatores noil togatos ad mu- 
nus convenire, quod funeribus solebat, ipse in pullis 

7 vestimentis praesidens. galea eius bis per portam 
Libitinensem elata est. 

8 Congiarium dedit populo singulis denarios septin- 
genos vicenos quinos. circa alios omnes parcissimus 
fuit, quod luxuriae sumptibus aerarium minuerat. 1 

1 miniieret P. 

1 Regarded in early times as birds of ill-omen ; in the first 
century after Christ, however, there was considerable difference 
of opinion as to their identification ; see Plin., Nat. Hist., x. 36. 

2 The school for gladiatoi s ; it was in the general neighbour- 
hood of the Colosseum. Commodus planned to spend the 
night of 31 Dec., 192 here, before appearing in public on the 
next day as a secutor ; see Dio, Ixxii. 22, 2. 

3 It was an ancient custom that these gates should be open 
when Rome was at war. 

4 See note to c. ix. 4. 

5 The two portions Minutiae were situated in the low-lying 
district between the Capitoline Hill and the Tiber, close to 
the Theatre of Marcellus. They were called respectively 
Vetus and Frumentaria ; in the latter were distributed the 
tickets which entitled the holders to receive grain from the 
public granaries. 

6 According to Dio, Ixxii. 21, 3, these cloaks were never 
worn at the theatre except when an emperor died. 



of January a swift coming mist and darkness arose in 
the Circus ; and before dawn there had already been 
fire-birds l and ill-boding portents. Commodus him- 
self moved his residence from the Palace to the 
Vectilian Villa 2 on the Caelian hill, saying that he 
could not sleep in the Palace. The twin gates of the 
temple of Janus 3 opened of their own accord, and a 
marble image of Anubis 4 was seen to move. In 
the Minucian Portico 5 a bronze statue of Hercules 
sweated for several days. An owl, moreover, was 
caught above his bed-chamber both at Lanuvium and 
at Rome. He was himself responsible for no incon- 
siderable an omen relating to himself ; for afte-r he had 
plunged his hand into the wound of a slain gladiator he 
wiped it on his own head, and again, contrary to cus- 
tom, he ordered the spectators to attend his gladia- 
torial shows clad not in togas but in cloaks, a practice 
usual at funerals, 6 while he himself presided in the 
vestments of a mourner. Twice, moreover, his helmet 
was borne through the Gate of Libitina. 7 

He gave largess to the people, 725 denarii to each 
man. 8 Toward all others he was close-fisted to a 
degree, since the exp&nse of his luxurious living had 
drained the treasury. He held many races in the 
Circus, 9 but rather as the result of a whim than as 

7 The gate of an amphitheatre through which were dragged 
the bodies of slain gladiators. Libitina was the goddess who 
presided over funerals. 

8 This sum must be greatly exaggerated, unless it is a com- 
putation of what each citizen received during the whole of 
Commodus' reign. According to Dio, Ixxii. 16, 1, he often 
gave individual largesses of 140 denarii, and his coins show 
nine occasions when largess was given by him, seven of which 
date from the time of his reign as sole emperor. 

9 On one occasion he exhibited thirty races in two hours; 
see Dio, Ixxii. 16, 1. 



9 circenses multos addidit ex libidine potius quam 
religione et ut doniinos factionum ditaret. 

XVII. His incitati, licet nimis sero, Quintus 
Aemilius Laetus praefectus et Marcia concubina eius 

2 inierunt coniurationem ad occidendum eum. primum- 
que ei venenum dederunt ; quod cum minus operare- 
tur, per athletarn, cum quo exerceri solebat, eum 

3 Fuit forma quidem corporis iusta, vultu insubido, 
ut ebriosi solent, et sermone incondite, capillo semper 
fucato et auri ramentis inluminato, adurens comam 
et barbam timore tonsoris. 

4 Corpus eius ut unco traheretur atque in Tiberim 
mitteretur, senatus et populus postulavit, sed postea 
iussu Pertinacis in monumentum Hadriani translatum 

5 Opera eius praeter lavacrum, quod Oleander nomine 

6 ipsius fecerat, nulla exstant. sed nomen eius alienis 

7 operibus incisum senatus erasit. nee patris autem sui 
opera perfecit. classem Africanam instituit, quae 
subsidio esset, si forte Alexandrina frumenta cessassent. 

8 ridicule etiam Carthaginem Alexandriam Commodian- 


am togatam appellavit, cum classem quoque Africanam 
sCommodianam Herculeam appellasset. ornamenta 

1 See note to Ver., iv. 8. 

2 The story of the murder is given in greater detail by Dio, 
Ixxii. 22, 4, and especially by Herodian, i. 16-17. Eclectus 
was also one of the conspirators ; see c. xv. 2. 

3 It was customary to fasten a hook to the bodies of con- 
demned criminals and thus drag them to the Tiber. The 
populace had demanded that this should be done to the body 
of Tiberius (Suetonius, Tiberius, Ixv. 1). 

4 Of. c. xx. 1, and Dio, Ixxiii. 2, 1. For his sepulchral in- 
scription see C.I.L., vi. 992 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 401. 

6 The Thermae Commodianae ; their exact site is unknown. 



an act of religion, and also in order to enrich the 
leaders of the factions. 1 

XVII. Because of these things but all too late 
Quintus Aemilius Laetus, prefect of the guard, and 
Marcia, his concubine, were roused to action and 
entered into a conspiracy against his life. First they 
gave him poison ; and when this proved ineffective 
they had him strangled by the athlete with whom 31 Dec., 
he was accustomed to exercise. 2 

Physically he was very well proportioned. His ex- 
pression was dull, as is usual in drunkards, and his 
speech uncultivated. His hair was always dyed and 
made lustrous by the use of gold dust, and he used to 
singe his hair and beard because he was afraid of 

The people and senate demanded that his body be 
dragged with the hook and cast into the Tiber ; 3 
later, however, at the bidding of Pertinax, it was 
borne to the Mausoleum of Hadrian. 4 

No public works of his are in existence, except the 
bath which Cleander built in his name. 5 But 
he inscribed his name on the works of others ; this 
the senate erased. 6 Indeed, he did not even finish 
the public works of bis father. He did organize an 
African fleet, which would have been useful, in case 
the grain-supply from Alexandria were delayed. 7 
He jestingly named Carthage Alexandria Com- 
modiana Togata, after entitling the African fleet 
Commodiana Herculea. 8 He made certain additions 

6 Of. c. xx. 5. Many inscriptions found throughout the 
empire show Commodus' name carefully erased. The same 
procedure followed the death of Domitian. 

7 The fleet was to convey grain to Borne from the province 
of Africa. 

8 See note to c. viii. 6. 



sane quaedam Colosso addidit, quae postea cuncta 

lOsublata sunt. Colossi autem caput dempsit, quod 

Neronis esset, ac suum imposuit et titulum more solito 

subscripsit, ita ut ilium Gladiatorium et Effeminatum 

11 non praetermitteret. hunc tamen Se^erus, imperator 
gravis et vir norninis sui, odio, quantum l videtur, senat- 
us inter deos rettulit, flamine addito, quern ipse vivus 
sibi paraverat, Herculaneo Commodiano. 

12 Sorores tres superstites reliquit. ut natalis eius 
celebraretur, Severus instituit. 

XVIII. Adclamationes senatus post mortem Com- 

2 modi graves fuerunt. ut autem sciretur quod iudi- 
cium senatus de Commodo fuerit, ipsas adclamationes 
de Mario Maximo indidi et sententiam senatus con- 
sulti : 

3 " Hosti patriae honores detrahantur. parricidae 
honores detrahantur. parricida trahatur. hostis 
patriae, parricida, gladiator in spoliario lanietur. 

4 hostis deorum, carnifex senatus, hostis deorum, par- 

5 ricida senatus ; hostis deorum, hostis senatus. gladi- 
atorem in spoliario. qui senatum occidit, in spoliario 
ponatur ; qui senatum occidit, unco trahatur ; qui 
innocentes occidit, unco trahatur. hostis, parricida, 

1 quantum Peter ; quam P. 

X 0n the Colossus see Hadr., xix. 12-13 and note. This 
passage is incorrect, since Hadrian had replaced the head of 
Nero by that of the Sun. According to Dio, Ixxii. 22, 3, 
Commodus also added the club and lion's skin characteristic 
of Hercules (see c. viii. 5). Dio also gives the inscription 
(cf. c. xv. 8). 

2 Commemorated by coins with the legend Consecratio ; 



to the Colossus by way of ornamentation, all of which 
were later taken off', and he also removed its head, 
which was a likeness of Nero, and replaced it by a 
likeness of himself, writing on the pedestal an inscrip- 
tion in his usual style, not omitting the titles Gladia- 
torius and Effeminatus. 1 And yet Severus, a stern 
emperor and a man whose character was well in keep- 
ing with his name, moved by hatred for the senate 
or so it seems exalted this creature to a place among 
the gods 2 and granted him also a flamen, the 
" Herculaneus Commodianus," whom Commodus 
while still alive had planned to have for himself. 

Three sisters 3 survived him. Severus instituted 
the observance of his birthday. 

XVIII." Loud were the acclamations of the senate 
after the death of Commodus. And that the senate's 
opinion of him may be known, I have quoted from 
Marius Maximus the acclamations themselves, 4 and 
the content of the senate's decree : 

" From him who was a foe of his fatherland let his 
honours be taken away ; let the honours of the 
murderer be taken away ; let the murderer be dragged 
in the dust. The foe of his fatherland, the murderer, 
the gladiator, in the charnel-house let him be 
mangled. He is foe to the gods, slayer of the senate, 
foe to the gods, murderer of the senate, foe of the 
gods, foe of the senate. Cast the gladiator into the 
charnel-house. He who slew the senate, let him be 
dragged with the hook ; he who slew the guiltless, let 

see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 234, no. 61 ; see also p. 359, nos. 1009-1010. 
He also appears as Divus Commodus in inscriptions. 

3 Arria Fadilla, Cornificia, and Vibia Aurelia Sabina. 

4 Cf. Av. Cass., xiii. 1 and note. The outcries are mentioned 
by Dio, Ixxiii. 2, 2-4. 



6 vere vere. 1 qui sanguini suo non pepercit, unco 

7 trahatur. qui te occisurus fuit, unco trahatur. 110- 
biscum timuisti, nobiscum periclitatus es. ut salvi 
simus, luppiter optime maxime, serva nobis Per- 

Stinacem. fidei praetorianorum feliciter. praetoriis 
cohortibus feliciter. exercitibus Romanis feliciter. 
pietati senatus feliciter. 

9 Parricida trahatur. rogamus, Auguste, parricida 

10 trahatur. hoc rogamus, parricida trahatur. exaudi 
Caesar : delatores ad leonem. exaudi Caesar : Spera- 

11 turn ad leonem. victoriae populi Roman! feliciter. 
fidei militum feliciter. fidei praetorianorum feliciter. 
cohortibus praetoriis feliciter. 

Hostis statuas undique, parricidae statuas undique, 
gladiatoris statuas undique. gladiatoris et parricidae 

13 statuae detrahantur. necator civium trahatur. parri- 
cida civium trahatur. gladiatoris statuae detrahantur. 

14 te salvo salvi et securi sumus, vere vere, modo vere, 
modo digne, modo vere, modo libere. 

15 Nunc securi sumus ; delatoribus metum. ut securi 
simus, 2 delatoribus metum. ut 3 salvi simus, delatores 
de senatu, delatoj-ibus fustem. te salvo delatores ad 

16 leonem. te imperante delatoribus fustem. 

1 uere Peter; seuere P. 2 sumus P. z ut ins. by 

Salmasius ; orn. in P. 

1 Evidently addressed to Pertinax 

2 Cf. Pert., v. 1. 3 Apparently an informer. 



him be dragged with the hook a foe, a murderer, 
verily, verily. He who spared not his own blood, let 
him be dragged with the hook ; he who would have 
slain you, 1 let him be dragged with the hook. You 
were in terror along with us, you were endangered 
along with us. That we may be safe, O Jupiter Best 
and Greatest, save for us Pertinax. 2 Long life to the 
guardian care of the praetorians ! Long life to the 
praetorian cohorts 1 Long life to the armies of Rome ! 
Long life to the loyalty of the senate ! 

Let the murderer he dragged in the dust. We 
beseech you, O Sire, let the murderer be dragged in 
the dust. This we beseech you, let the murderer be 
dragged in the dust. Hearken, Caesar: to the lions 
with the informers ! Hearken Caesar : to the lions 
with Speratus ! 3 Long life to the victory of the 
Roman people ! Long life to the soldiers' guardian 
care ! Long life to the guardian care of the prae- 
torians ! Long life to the praetorian cohorts ! 

On all sides are statues of the foe, on all sides are 
statues of the murderer, on all sides are statues of 
the gladiator. The statues of the murderer and 
gladiator, let them be cast down. The slayer of 
citizens, let him be dragged in the dust. The 
murderer of citizens, let him be dragged in the dust. 
Let the statues of the gladiator be overthrown. 
While you are safe, we too are safe and untroubled, 
verily, verily, if in very truth, then with honour, if 
in very truth, then with freedom. 

Now at last we are secure ; let informers tremble. 
That we may be secure, let informers tremble. That 
we may be safe, cast informers out of the senate, the club 
for informers ! While you are safe, to the lions with 
informers ! While you are ruler, the club for informers ! 



XIX. Parricidae gladiatoris memoria aboleatur, 
parricidae gladiatoris statuae detrahantur. impuri 
gladiatoris memoria aboleatur. gladiatorem in spoli- 

2 ario. exaudi Caesar : carnifex unco trahatur. carnifex 
senatus more maiorum unco trahatur. saevior Do- 
mitiano, impurior Nerone. sic fecit, sic patiatur. 
memoriae innocentium serventur. honores innocent- 
ium restituas, rogamus. parricidae cadaver unco 

3 trahatur. gladiatoris cadaver unco trahatur. gladi- 
atoris cadaver in spoliario ponatur. perroga, perroga : 

4omnes censemus unco trahendum. qui omnes occi- 
dit, unco trahatur. qui omnem aetatem occidit, unco 
trahatur. qui utrumque sexum occidit, unco trahatur. 

5 qui sanguini suo non pepercit, unco trahatur. qui 
templa spoliavit, unco trahatur. qui testamenta de- 
levit, unco trahatur. qui vivos spoliavit, unco trahatur. 

eservis serviimus. qui pretia vitae exegit, unco tra- 
hatur. qui pretia vitae exegit et fidem non servavit, 
unco trahatur. qui senatum vendidit, unco trahatur. 
qui filiis abstulit hereditatem, unco trahatur. 

7 Indices de senatu, delatores de senatu, servorum 



Let the memory of the murderer and the gladiator 
be utterly wiped away. Let the statues of the mur- 
derer and the gladiator be overthrown. Let the 
memory of the foul gladiator be utterly wiped away. 
Cast the gladiator into the charnel-house. Hearken, 
Caesar : let the slayer be dragged with the hook. In 
the manner of our fathers let the slayer of the senate 
be dragged with the hook. More savage than 
Domitian, more foul than Nero. As he did unto 
others, let it be done unto him. Let the remembrance 
of the guiltless be preserved. Restore the honours 
of the guiltless, we beseech you. Let the body of 
the murderer be dragged with the hook, let the body 
of the gladiator be dragged with the hook, let the body 
of the gladiator be ca^t into the charnel-house. Call 
for our vote, call for our vote : with one accord we 
reply, let him be dragged with the hook. He who 
slew all men, let him be dragged with the hook. 
He who slew young and old, let him be dragged 
with the hook. He who slew man and woman, let 
him be dragged with the hook. He who spared not 
his own blood, let him be dragged with the hook. 
He who plundered temples, let him be dragged with 
the hook. He who set aside the testaments of the 
dead, let him be dragged with the hook. He who 
plundered the living, let him be dragged with the 
hook. We have been slaves to slaves. He who de- 
manded a price for the life of a man, let him be 
dragged with the hook. He who demanded a price 
for a life and kept not his promise, let him be dragged 
with the hook. He who sold the senate, let him be 
dragged with the hook. He who took from sons 
their patrimony, let him be dragged with the hook. 

Spies and informers, cast them out of the senate. 



subomatores de senatu. et tu nobiscum timuisti ; 

8 omnia scis et bonos et malos nosti. omnia scis, 
omnia emenda ; pro te timuimus. o nos felices, te 
vere l imperante ! de parricida refer, refer, perroga. 

9 praesentium tuam rogamus. innocentes sepulti non 
sunt. parricidae cadaver trahatur. parricida sepultos 
emit ; parricidae cadaver trahatur." 

XX. Et cum iussu Pertinacis Livius Laurensis, pro- 
curator patrimonii, Fabio Ciloni consuli designate 
dedisset, per iioctem Commodi cadaver sepultum est. 
2, 3 senatus adclamavit : " Quo auctore sepelierunt ? par- 
ricida sepultus eruatur, 2 trahatur." Cincius Severus 
dixit : " Iniuste sepultus est. qua pontifex dico, hoc 

4 collegium pontifiVum dicit. quoniam laeta 3 percensui, 
nunc convertar ad necessaria : censeo quas 4 is, qui 
nonnisi ad perniciem civium et ad dedecus suum vixit, 
ob honorem suum decerni coegit, abolendas statuas, 

5 quae undique sunt abolendae, nomenque ex omnibus 
privatis publicisque monumentis eradendum menses- 
que iis nominibus nuncupandos quibus nuncupabantur, 
cum primum illud malum in re publica incubuit." 

1 uere Editor (cf. Claud., iv. 3) ; uiro P ; uero Exc. Cusana, 
Mommsen ; uiso Hirschfeld, Peter 2 . 2 seruatur P. 

3 laeta Peter 1 ; laetam P; laeta iam Baehrens, Peter 2 . 

4 quae P. 

1 Corarnemor<3ted in an inscription from Rome, C.I L., vi. 
2126. He is one of the characters in the Deipnosophistai of 

2 An office probably created by Claudius. The patrimonium 
comprised the estates regarded as the property of the emperor 
and transmitted from one emperor to another, even when 
there was no direct succession. It was distinguished, both 
from the fiscus, or imperial treasury, and from the respri,vata t 
the private property of any individual emperor; the latter 



Suborners of slaves, cast them out of the senate. 
You, too, were in terror along with us ; you know all, 
you know both the good and the evil. You know all 
that we were forced to purchase ; all we have feared 
for your sake. Happy are we, now that you are 
emperor in truth. Put it to the vote concerning the 
murderer, put it to the vote, put the question. We 
ask your presence. The guiltless are yet unburied ; 
let the body of the murderer be dragged in the 
dust. The murderer dug up the buried ; let the 
body of the murderer be dragged in the dust." 

XX. The body of Commodus was buried during 
the night, after Livius Laurensis, 1 the steward of the 
imperial estate, 2 had surrendered it at the bidding of 
Pertinax 3 to Fabius Cilo, 4 the consul elect. At this 
the senate cried out : " With whose authority have 
they buried him ? The buried murderer, let him be 
dug up, let him be dragged in the dust." Cincius 
Severus 5 said : " Wrongfully has he been buried. 
And as I speak as pontifex, so speaks the college of 
the pontifices. And now, having recounted what is 
joyful, I shall proceed to what is needful : I give it 
as my opinion that the statues should be overthrown 
which this man, who lived but for the destruction of 
his fellow-citizens and for his own shame, forced us to 
decree in his honour ; wherever they are, they should 
be cast down. His name, moreover, should be erased 
from all public and private records, 6 and the months 7 
should be once more called by the names whereby they 
were called when this scourge first fell upon the state." 

was placed in charge of a special procurator by Severus ; see 
Sev., xii. 4. 

J See c. xvii. 4. 4 See Carac., iii. 2 and note. 

6 See Sev., xiii. 9. 6 See c. xvii. 6. 7 See c. xi. 8. 




I. Publio Helvio Pertinaci pater libertinus Helvius 
Successus fuit, qui filio nomen ex continuatione lig- 
nariae negotiationis, quod pertinaciter earn rem 
2gereret, imposuisse fatetur. natus est Pertinax in 
Appennino in villa matris. equus pullus ea hora qua 
natus est in tegulas ascendit atque ibi breviter com- 

3 moratus decidit et ! exspiravit. hac re motus pater 
ad Chaldaeum venit. qui cum illi futura ingentia 
praedixisset, stirpem 2 se perdidisse dixit. 

4 Puer litteris elementariis et calculo imbutus, datus 
etiam Graeco grammatico atque inde Sulpicio Apol- 
linari, post quern idem Pertinax grammaticen professus 

5 Sed cum in ea minus quaestus proficeret, per 
Lollianum Avitum, consularem virum, patris pat- 

6 ronum, ducendi ordinis dignitatem petiit. dein prae- 

1 et om. in P. 2 stirpem P ; stipem Peter. 

1 At Alba Pompeia in Liguria, according to Dio, Ixxiii. 1. 
For the date see c. xv. 6. 

a The text is almost certainly corrupt. 

3 Frequently cited in the Nodes Atticae of Aulus Gelliua, 
one of his pupils. He is well known as the composer of metri- 
cal summaries of the Aeneid and of Terence's comedies. 

4 Consul in 144. 





I. Publius Helvius Pertinax was the son of a freed- 
man, Helvius Successus by name, who confessed that 
he gave this name to his son because of his own long- 
standing connection with the timber-trade, for he had 
conducted that business with pertinacity. Pertinax 
himself was born in the Apennines 1 on an estate i Aug., 
which belonged to his mother. The hour he was born 
a black horse climbed to the roof, and after remaining 
there for a short time, fell to the ground and died. 
Disturbed by this occurrence, his father went to a 
Chaldean, and he prophesied future greatness for the 
boy, saying that he himself had lost his child. 2 As a 
boy, Pertinax was educated in the rudiments of 
literature and in arithmetic and was also put under 
the care of a Greek teacher of grammar and, later, of 
Sulpicius Apollinaris ; 3 after receiving instruction 
from this man, Pertinax himself took up the teaching 
of grammar. 

But when he found little profit in this profession, 
with the aid of Lollianus Avitus, a former consul 4 
and his father's patron, he sought an appointment to 
a command in the ranks. 5 Soon afterwards, in the 

5 As chief centurion ; see note to Av. Cass., i. 1. 



feet us cohortis in Syriarn profectus Tito Aurelio 

imperatore, a praeside Syriae, quod sine diplomatibus 

cursum usurpaverat, pedibus ab Antiochia ad lega- 

II. tionem suam iter facere coactus est. bello Parthico 

industria sua promeritus in Britanniam translatus est 

2ac retentus. post in Moesia rexit alam. deinde 

3 alimentis dividendis in Via Aemilia procuravit. inde 
classem Germanicam rexit. mater eum usque in 
Germaniam prosecuta l est ib'que obiit. cuius etiain 

4 sepulchrum stare nunc dicitur. inde ad ducenum 
sestertiorum stipend ium translatus in Daciam sus- 
pectusque a Marco quorundam artibus 2 remotus est, et 
postea per Claudium Pompeianum, generum Marci, 
quasi adiutor eius futurus vexillis regendis adseitus 

5 est. in quo munere adprobatus lectus est in senatu. 

6 postea iterum re bene gesta prodita est factio, quae 
illi concinnata fuerat, Marcusque imperator, ut com- 

*per.ecutaP. 2 attibus Peter ; apartibus'P. 

} i.e. Antoninus Pius. 

2 An independent company of infantry, normally number- 
ing five hundred and usually commanded by a young man of 
the equestrian order as the first stage in his official career. 

a The war waged under the nominal command of Verus in 
162-1 06 ; see Marc., ix. 1 and Ver., vii. 

4 Probably as tribune of a legion ; see Dio, Ixxiii. 3, 1. Dio 
adds that he secured this post through the favour of Claudius 
Pompeianus (cf. 4), his former school-mate. 

6 As yraefcctus alae, or commander of an independent 
squadron of cavalry. This was the third of the military posts 
required of members of the equestrian order who were as- 
pirants for a political career. 

"On the alirnenla see note to Hadr., vii. 8. The Via 
Aemilia ran from Aiiminum (Rimini) on the Adriatic through 
Bononia (Bologna) to Placentia (Piacenza) on the Po. 



reign of Titus Aurelius, 1 he set out for Syria as pre- 
fect of a cohort, 2 and there, because he had used the 
imperial post without official letters of recommen- 
dation, he was forced by the governor of Syria to 
make his way from Antioch to his station on foot. 
II. Winning promotion because of the energy he 
showed in the Parthian war, 3 he was transferred to 
Britain 4 and there retained. Later he led a squadron 5 
in Moesia, and after that he supervised the distribution 
of grants to the poor on the Aemilian Way. 6 Next, 
he commanded the German fleet. 7 His mother 
followed him all the way to Germany, and there she 

*J mf ' 

died, and her tomb is said to be still standing there. 
From this command he was transferred to Dacia 8 at 
a salary of two hundred thousand sesterces, but 
through the machinations of certain persons he came 
to be distrusted by Marcus and was removed from 
this post; afterwards, however, through the influence 
of Claudius Pompeianus, the son-in-law of Marcus, 9 
he was detailed to the command of detachments on 
the plea that he would become Pompeianus' aide. 10 
Meeting with approval in this position, he was en- 
rolled in the senate. Later, when he had won suc- 
cess in war for the second time, the plot which had 
been made against him was revealed, and Marcus, in 
order to remedy the wrong he had done him, raised 

7 The fleet on the Rhine. 

* As procurator, with the rank of du&.narius. He had the 
supervision of the nuances of the province. 

9 See Marc., xx. 6. Pompeianus had befriended him previ- 
ously (see 1 and note). 

10 Pompeianus was governor of Pannonia Inferior in 167 
(see note to Marc., xx. 7), and it was probably at this time 
that he appointed Pertinax to this command. 



pensaret iniuriam, praetorium eum fecit et primae 
legioni regendae imposuit, statimque Raetias et 

7 Noricum ab hostibus vindicavit. ex quo eminente 
industria studio Marci imperatoris consul est desig- 

8 natus. exstat oratio apud Marium Maximum laudes 
eius continens et omnia vel quae fecit vel quae per- 

9 pessus est. et praeter illam orationem, quam longum 
fuit conectere, saepissime Pertinax a Marco et in con- 
tione militari et in senatu laudatus est, doluitque 
palam Marcus, quod senator esset et l praefectus 

10 praetorii fieri a se non posset. Cassiano motu com- 
posito e Syria ad Danuvii tutelam profectus estatque 

11 inde Moesiae utriusque, mox Daciae regimen accepit. 
bene gestis his provinciis Syriam meruit. 

III. Integre se usque ad Syriae regimen Pertinax 
tenuit, post excessum vero Marci pecuniae studuit \ 

2 quare etiam dictis popularibus lacessitus. curiam 
Romanam post quattuor provincias consulares, quia 
consulatum absens gesserat, iam dives ingressus est, 

3 cum earn senator antea non vidisset. iussus est prae- 
terea statim a Perenni in Liguriam secedere in villam 
paternam ; nam pater eius tabernam coactiliariam 2 in 

1 et om. in P. 2 coactiliariam Scaliger, Mommsen ; 

coactiliriam P ; coctiliciam Salmasius, Peter. 

1 i.e. the rank in the senate of those who had held the 

2 The First Adiutrix, which in the second century was 
quartered in Upper Pannonia. 

3 In connection with Marcus' campaign in Pannonia ; see 
note to Marc., xiv. 6. 

4 He evidently accompanied Marcus thither at the time of 
Cassius' revolt; see Marc., xxv. 1. 

8 Cf. o. ix. 4-6 ; xiii. 4. 



him to the rank of praetor l and put him in command 
of the First Legion. 2 Whereupon Pertinax straight- 
way rescued Raetia and Noricum from the enemy. 3 
Because of his conspicuous prowess in this campaign 
he was appointed, on the recommendation of Marcus, 
to the consulship. Marcus' speech has been preserved ca. 175 
in the works of Marius Maximus ; it contains a eulogy 
of him and relates, moreover, everything that he did 
and suffered. And besides this speech, which it would 
take too much space to incorporate in this work, 
Marcus praised Pertinax frequently, both in the as- 
semblies of soldiers and in the senate, and publicly 
expressed regret that he was a senator and therefore 
could not be made prefect of the guard. After Cassius' 
revolthad been suppressed, Pertinax set out from Syria 4 175 
to protect the bank of the Danube, and presently he 
was appointed to govern both the Moesias and, soon 
thereafter, Dacia. And by reason of his success in 
these provinces, he won the appointment to Syria. 

III. Up to the time of his administration of Syria, 
Pertinax preserved his honesty, but after the death 
of Marcus he became 'desirous of wealth, and was in 
consequence assailed by popular gibes. 5 It was 
not until after he had governed four consular pro- 
vinces and had become a rich man that he entered 
the Roman senate- chamber, which, during all his 
career as senator, he had never before seen, for 
during his term as consul he had been absent from 
Rome. 6 Immediately after this, he received orders 
from Perennis to retire to his father's farm in 182 
Liguria, 7 where his father had kept a cloth-maker's 

6 He seems to have been in Syria during the short term for 
which he was appointed consul ; see c. ii. 7 and 10. 

7 See note to c. i. 2. 



4Liguria exercuerat. sed posteaquam in Liguriam 
venit, multis agris coemptis tabernam paternara 
manente forma priore infmitis aedificiis circumdedit. 
fuitque illic per triennium et mercatus est per suos 

5 Occiso sane Perenni Commodus Pertinaci satisfecit 
eumque petiit litteris, 1 ut ad Britanniam proficiscere- 

6 tur. profectusque milites ab omni seditione deter- 
ruit, cum illi querncumque imperatorem vellent habere 

7et ipsum specialiter Pertinacem. time Pertinax 
malevolentiae notam subiit, quod dictus est insimu- 
lasse apud Commodum adfectati imperil Antistium 

8 Burrum et Arrium Antoninum. et seditiones quidem 
contra se ipse 2 compescuit in Britannia, 3 verum in- 
gens periculum adiit seditione legionis paene occisus, 

9 certe inter occisos relictus. quam quidem rem idem 
10 Pertinax acerrime vindicavit. denique postea veniam 

legationis petiit, dicens sibi ob defensam disciplinam 
IV. infestas esse legiones. accepto successore alimen- 

torum ei cura mandata est. dein pro consule Africae 
2factus est. in quo proconsulatu multas seditiones 

perpessus dicitur vaticinationibus carminum 4 quae de 

templo Caelestis emergunt. post hoc praefectus urbi 
3 factus. in qua praefectura post Fuscianum, hominem 

severum, Pertinax mitissimus et humanissimus fuit et 

1 litteris Peter ; litteras P. 2 contra <se> ipse Lenze ; 

contra ipse P; contra imperatorem Obrecht, Peter. 3 Bri- 

tanniam P, Peter. 4 carminum Peter 2 ; earum P. 

1 See Com., vi. 2 and notes. 2 See Com., vi. 11 and vii. 1. 

3 See Hadr., vii. 8, and c. ii. 2. He was now praefectus 
alimentorum, charged with the supervision of the alimcnta 
for the whole of Italy, whereas previously he had been respon- 
sible for one district. 



shop. On coming to Liguria, however, he bought 
up a great number of farms, and added countless 
buildings to his father's shop, which he still kept in 
its original form ; and there he stayed for three years 
carrying on the business through his slaves. 

After Perennis had been put to death, Commodus 185 
made amends to Pertinax, and in a letter asked him 
to set out for Britain. 1 After his arrival there he kept 
the soldiers from any revolt, for they wished to set 
up some other man as emperor, preferably Pertinax 
himself. And now Pertinax acquired an evil character 
for enviousness, for he was said to have laid before 
Commodus the charge that Antistius Burrus and 
Arrius Antoninus were aspiring to the throne. 2 And 
certainly he did suppress a mutiny against himself in 
Britain, but in so doing he came into great danger ; 
for in a mutiny of a legion he was almost killed, and 
indeed was left among the slain. This mutiny 
Pertinax punished very severely. Later on, however, 
he petitioned to be excused from his governorship, 
saying that the legions were hostile to him because 
he had been strict in -h is discipline. IV. After he had 
been relieved of this post, he was put in charge of the 
grants to the poor. 3 Next he was made proconsul 
of Africa. During this proconsulship, it is said, he 
suppressed many rebellions by the aid of prophetic 
verses which issued from the temple of Caelestis. 4 
Next he was made prefect of the city, and in this office, 
as successor to Fuscianus, 5 a very stern man, Pertinax 

4 The tutelary goddess of Carthage, Tanith, worshipped in 
the imperial period under the name of Caelestis Afrorum Dea. 
Her cult extended through northern Africa to Spain and was 
spread by soldiers over the empire. See also Macr., iii. 1. 

5 See Marc., iii. 8. 



ipsi Commodoplurimum placuit, quia . . . . illi esset 
4iterum cum Pertinax factus est. time Pertinax inter- 
ficiendi Commodi conscientiam delatam sibi ab aliis 
non fugit. 

5 Commodo autem interempto Laetus praefectus 
praetorii et Eclectus l cubicularius ad eum venerunt 
et 2 eum confirmarunt atque in castra duxerunt. 

6 illic Pertinax milites adlocutus est, donativum pro- 
misit, ingeri sibi imperium a Laeto et Eclecto 3 dixit. 

7 fictum est autem quod morbo esset Commodus ex- 
stinctus. quia et milites, ne temptarentur, pertimes- 
cebant. denique a paucis primum est Pertinax 

8 imperator appellatus. factus est autem sexagenario 

9 maior imperator pridie kal. Ian. de castris nocte 
cum ad senatum venisset et cellam curiae iussisset 
aperiri, neque inveniretur aedituus, in Templo Con- 

10 cordiae resedit. et cum ad eum Claudius Pompeianus, 
gener Marci, 4 venisset casumque Commodi 5 lacri- 
masset, hortatus Pertinax ut imperium sumeret. 
sed ille recusavit, quia iam imperatorem Pertinacem 

11 videbat. statim ergo omnes magistratus cum consule 
ad curiam venerunt ingressumque Pertinacem nocte 

Delectus P. 2 ct Salmasius; ut P. 3 electo P. 4 ger- 
manici P. 5 commcdo P. 

J No successful attempt has been made to fill this lacuna. 
2 See Com., xvii. 1. 

3 Twelve thousand sesterces, or three thousand denarii ; 
see c. xv. 7, and Dio, Ixxiii. 1, 2. According to c. xv. 7, he 
paid only half of it, but according to Dio, Ixxiii. 5, 4, he paid 
all that he had promised. 

4 According to Dio, Ixxiii. 1, 3, the soldiers were not en- 



was exceedingly gentle and considerate, and he 
proved very pleasing to Commodus himself, for he 
was . . , l when Pertinax was made consul for the 
second time. And while in this position, Pertinax 
did not avoid complicity in the murder of Commodus, 
when a share in this plot was offered him by the other 

After Commodus was slain, 2 Laetus, the prefect 
of the guard, and Eclectus, the chamberlain, came to 
Pertinax and reassured him, and then led him to the 
camp. There he harangued the soldiers, promised 
a donative, 3 and said that the imperial power had been 
thrust upon him by Laetus and Eclectus. It was 
pretended, moreover, that Commodus had died a 
natural death, chiefly because the soldiers feared that 
their loyalty was merely being tested. Finally, and 
at first by only a few, Pertinax was hailed as emperor. 4 
He was made emperor on the day before the Kalends 31 Dec., 
of January, being then more than sixty years old. 5 
During the night he came from the camp to the 
senate, but, when he ordered the opening of the hall 
of the senate-house and the attendant could not be 
found, he seated himself in the Temple of Concord. 6 
And when Claudius Pompeianus, Marcus' son-in-law, 
came to him and bemoaned the death of Commodus, 
Pertinax urged him to take the throne ; Claudius, 
however, seeing that Pertinax was already invested 
with the imperial power, refused. Without further 
delay, therefore, all the magistrates, in company with 
the consul, came to the senate-house, and Pertinax, 
who had come in by night, was saluted as emperor. 

5 Sixty-six. 

6 At the western end of the Forum at the foot of the Capi- 
toline Hill. The senate often met there. 



V- imperatorem appellaverunt. ipse autem Pertinax 
post laudes suas a consul ibus dictas et post vitupe- 
rationem Commodi adclamationibus senatus ostensam 
egit gratias senatui et praecipue Laeto, praefecto 
praetorii, quo auctore et Commodus interemptus et 
ipse imperator est factus. 

Sed cum Laeto gratias egisset Pertinax, Falco con- 
sul dixit : "Qualis imperator es futurus, hinc intel- 
legimus, quod Laetum et Marciam, 1 ministros 

^scelerum Commodi, post te videmus ". cui Pertinax 
respondit : " luvenis es consul nee parendi scis 
necessitates, paruerunt 2 inviti Commodo, sed ubi 
habuerunt facultatem, quid semper voluerint osten- 

4derunt". eadem die qua Augustus est appellatus, 
et Flavia Titiana uxor eius Augusta est appellata, 
iis horis quibus ille in Capitolium vota solvebat. 

5 primus sane omnium ea die qua Augustus est appel- 

6 latus, etiam patris patriae nomen recepit nee non 3 
simul etiam imperium proconsulare nee non 3 ius 
quartae relationis. quod ominis 4 loco fuit Pertinaci. 

7 Ad Palatium ergo Pertinax profectus, quod tune 
vacuum erat, quia Commodus in Vectilianis occisus 
est, petenti signum prima die tribuno dedit "milite- 
mus/' exprobrans utique segnitiem temporum superi- 
orum. quod quidem etiam ante in omnibus ducatibus 

l marcianum P. 2 parauerunt P. 3 non ins. in P 

corr. ; om. in P 1 . 4 omnis P 1 . 

1 See Com., xviii.-xix. 

2 Pertinax refused this name for his wife and that of Caesar 
for his son; see c. vi. 9 and Dio, Ixxiii. 7, 1-2. Dio suggests 
that it was on account of her bad character ; see also c. xiii. 
8. However, Titiana is called Augusta in inscriptions and on 

3 See Hadr., vi. 4 and note. 4 See note to Marc., vi. 6. 


V. Pertinax, on his part, after his own praises had 
been recited by the consuls and Commodus had been 
execrated in the outcries of the senate, 1 returned 
thanks to the senate in general, and in particular to 
Laetus, the prefect of the guard, through whose in- 
strumentality Commodus had been slain and he him- 
self declared emperor. 

When Pertinax had returned thanks to Laetus, 
however, Falco, the consul, said: "We may know 
what sort of an emperor you will be from this, that we 
see behind you Laetus and Marcia, the instruments 
of Commodus' crimes ". To him Pertinax replied : 
" You are young, Consul, and do not know the neces- 
sity of obedience. They obeyed Commodus, but 
against their will, and as soon as they had an oppor- 
tunity, they showed what had always been their 
desire." On the samd* day that he was entitled 
Augustus, at the very hour at which he was paying 
his vows on the Capitolium, Flavia Titiana, his wife, 
was also given the name of Augusta. 2 Of all the 
emperors he was the first to receive the title of 
Father of his Country on the day when he was named 
Augustus. 3 And at the same time he received the 
proconsular power and the right of making four pro- 
posals to the senate 4 a combination which Pertinax 
regarded as an omen. 

And so Pertinax repaired to the Palace; which was 
vacant at that time, for Commodus had been slain in 
the Vectilian Villa. 5 And on the first day of his 
reign, when the tribune asked for the watchword, he 
gave " let us be soldiers," as if reproving the former 
reign for its inactivity. As a matter of fact, he had 
really used this same watchword before in all his 

5 See Com., xvi. 3. 



VI. dederat. exprobrationem autem istam milites non 
tulerunt statimque de imperatore mutando cogitarunt. 

2ea die etiam ad convivium magistratus et proceres 
senatus rogavit, quam consuetudinem Commodus 

3 praetermiserat. sane iam l postero kalendarum die 
cum statuae Commodi deicerentur, gemuerunt mili- 
tes, simulquia iterum signum idem dederat imperator. 

4timebatur autem militia sub sene imperatore. de- 
nique ter-tium nonarum diem votis ipsis milites Tria- 
rium MaternuiTi Lascivium, senatorem nobilem, ducere 
in castra voluerunt, ut eum rebus Romanis imponerent. 

5sed ille nudus fugit atque ad Pertinacem in Palatium 
venit et post ex urbe decessit. 

6 Timore sane Pertinax coactus omnia quae Commo- 

7 dus militibus et veteranis dederat confirmavit. susci- 
pere se etiam imperium a senatu dixit, quod iam sponte 

8 inierat. quaestionem maiestatis penitus tulit cum 
iureiurando, revocavit etiam eos qui deportati fuerant 
crimine maiestatis, eorum memoria restituta qui occisi 

9 fuerant. filium eius senatus Caesarem appellavit. 
sed Pertinax nee uxoris Augustae appellationem re- 

10 cepit et de filio dixit : "cum meruerit ". et cum 
Commodus adlectionibus innumeris praetorias mis- 
cuisset, senatus consultum Pertinax fecit iussitque 

1 iam Peter ; cum P. 

1 Cf. Com., xx. 4-5. 

2 Yet according to c. iv. 11 and Dio, Ixxiii. 1, 4, he was 
regularly elected by the senate. 

3 According to Dio, Ixxiii. 5, 3, their bodies were disinterred 
and then laid in their ancestral tombs. 

4 See note to c. v. 4. B See note to c. ii. 6. 



commands. VI. But the soldiers would not tolerate a 
reproof and straightway began to make plans for chang- 
ing the emperor. On this same day also he invited 
the magistrates and the chief men of the senate to a 
banquet, a practice which Com mod us had discon- 
tinued. But, indeed, on the day after the Kalends 2 Jan., 
of January, when the statues of Commodus were 
overthrown/ the soldiers groaned aloud, for he gave 
this same watchword for the second time, and besides 
they dreaded service under an emperor advanced in 
years. Finally on the third of the month, just as the 
vows were being assumed, the soldiers tried to lead 
Triarius Maternus Lascivius, a senator of distinction, 
to the camp, in order to invest him with the sove- 
reignty of the Roman Empire. He, however, fled 
from them quite naked and came to Pertinax in the 
Palace and presently departed from the city. 

Induced by fear, Pertinax ratified all the concessions 
which Commodus had made to the soldiers and 
veterans. He declared, also, that he had received 
from the senate the sovereignty which, in fact, he had 
already assumed on his own responsibility. 2 He 
abolished trials for treason absolutely and bound 
himself thereto by an oath, he recalled those who 
had been exiled on the charge of treason, and he re- 
established the good, name of those who had been 
slain. 3 The senate granted his son the name of 
Caesar, but Pertinax not only refused to allow the 
name Augusta to be conferred on his wife but also, 
in the case of his son, said : " Only when he earns it ". 4 
And since Commodus had obscured the significance 
of the praetorian rank 5 by countless appointments 
thereto, Pertinax, after securing the passage of a 
decree of the senate, issued an order that those who 



eos, qui praeturas non gessissent sed adlectione ac- 

cepissent, post eos esse qui vere praetores fuissent. 

11 sed hinc quoque grande odium sibi raultorum com- 

VII. movit. census retractari iussit. delatores convictos 1 

graviter puniri iussit et tamen m )llius quam priores 

imperatores, unicuique dignitati, si delationis crimen 

2incurreret, poenam statuens. legem sane tulit, ut 
testamenta priora non prius essent inrita quam alia 
perfecta essent, neve ob hoc fiscus aliquando succe- 

Sderet. ipseque professus est nullius se aditurum 2 
hereditatem, quae aut adulatione alicuius delata esset 
aut lite perplexa, ut legitimi heredes et necessarii 
privarentur. additque senatus consulto haec verba : 

4 " Satius 3 est, patres conscripti, inopem rem publicam 
obtinere, quam ad divitiarum cumulum per discrimi- 

5 num atque dedecorum vestigia pervenire ". donativa 
6et congiaria, quae Commodus promiserat, solvit. an- 

nonae consultissime providit. et cum tantam penu- 
riam 4 aerarii haberet, ut praeter decies sestertium 
non se invenisse fateretur, coactus est ea exigere 
quae Commodus indixerat, contra quam professus 
7 fuerat. denique aggressus eum Lollianus Gentianus 
consularis, quod contra promissum faceret, necessitatis 
rationem accepit. 

1 conuictos Faber, Peter; uinctos P. z adituram P. 

3 satius Gruter ; statins P 1 ; sanctius P corr. *pecuniam P. 

1 In cases where there was no will or no natural heir the 
property reverted to the imperial treasury. 

2 Of. c. vi. 6. 

3 This figure is also given by Dio, Ixxiii. 5, 4 (250,000 

4 Q. Hedius Rufus Lollianus Gentianus was the son of the 
patron of Pertinax' father ; see c. i. 5. 



had secured the rank of praetor not by actual service, 
but by appointment, should be ranked below those 
who had been praetors in reality. But by this act 
also he brought on himself the bitter enmity of many 
men. VII. He gave orders for the taking of a new 
census. He gave orders, too, that men convicted of 
lodging false accusations should be punished with 
severity, exercising, nevertheless, greater modera- 
tion than former emperors, and at the same time 
ordaining a separate punishment for each rank in 
case any of its members should be convicted of 
this offence. He enacted a law, moreover, that 
an old will should not become invalid before the new 
one was formally completed, fearing that some time 
the privy-purse might in this way succeed to an 
inheritance. 1 He declared that for his own part he 
would accept no legacy which came to him either 
through flattery or by reason of legal entanglements if 
thereby the rightful heirs and the near of kin should 
be robbed of their rights, and when the decree of the 
senate was passed, he added these words : " It is 
better, O Conscript Fathers, to rule a state that is im- 
poverished, than to attain to a great mass of wealth by 
paths of peril and dishonour ". He paid the donatives 
and largesseswhich Commodus had promised, 2 and pro- 
vided with the greatest care for the grain-supply. And 
when the treasury was drained to such a degree that he 
was unable to put his hands on more than a million 
sesterces, 3 as he himself admitted, he was forced, in vio- 
lation of a previous promise, to exact certain revenues 
which Commodus had remitted. And finally, when 
Lollianus Gentianus, 4 a man of consular rank, brought 
him to task for breaking his promise, he excused him- 
self on the ground that it was a case of necessity. 



8 Auctionem rerum Commodi habuit, ita ut et pueros 
et concub'.nas vendi iuberet, exceptis iis qui per vim 

9 Palatio videbantur inserti. et de iis quos yendi iussit 
multi' postea reducti ad ministerium oblectarunt 
senem, qui l quidem per alios principes usque ad 

lOsenatorium dignitatem pervenerunt. scurras turpis- 

simorum nominum dedecora praeferentes 2 proscripsit 

11 ac vendidit. cuius nundinationis pecuniary quae 

/III. ingens fuit, militibus donative dedit. a libertis etiam 

ea exegit quibus Commodo vendente ditati fuerant. 

2auctio sane rerum Commodi in his insignior fuit : 
vestis subtegmine serico aureis filis insigni opere, 3 
tunicas paenulasque,lacernaset chiridotas Dalmatarum 
et cirratas militares purpureasque chlamydes Grae- 

Scanicas atque castrenses. et cuculli Bardaici et toga 

4armaque gladiatoria gemmis auroque composita. et 
machaeras Herculaneas et torques gladiatorias vasaque 
de luto 4 auro ebore argento citroque composita. 

5 atque etiam phallovitrobuli 5 ex materie eadem et 
vasa Samnitica calfactandae resinae ac pici devel- 

6 lendis hominibus ac leviginandis. nee non vehicula 
arte fabricae nova perplexis divisisque rotarum orbi- 

l qui om. in P. ^perferentes P. 3 insigni opere 

Casaubon ; insignior per P. *de luto Editor; eludo P; 

eluto Peter 1 ; de ludo Krauss, Peter 2 . 5 phallouitrobuli 

Egnatius, Peter 1 ; phandouitrobuli P, Peter 2 . 

1 See Com., v. 4. 

2 Com., x. 8. According to Dio, Ixxiii. 6, 2, it was Laetus 
who offered these for sale. 

3 See c. iv. 6. He also gave a largess of 100 denarii to 
each; see c. xv. 7 ; Dio, Ixxiii. 5, 4 ; and the coins with the 
legend Liberalitas Aug(usti), Cohen, iii 2 , p. 392 f., nos. 23-28. 

4 See Com., xiv., 4-7. 5 Com., viii. 8. 

6 The bardoc2icullus, a heavy coarse cloak with a hood. It 
seems to have been named from the Bardaei, a tribe in 



He held a sale of Commodus' belongings, even 
ordering the sale of all his youths and concubines, 
except those who had apparently been brought to 
the Palace by force. 1 Of those whom he ordered 
sold, however, many were soon brought back to his 
service and ministered to the pleasures of the old 
man, and under other emperors they even attained 
to the rank of senator. Certain buffoons, also, who bore 
the shame of unmentionable names, 2 he put up at 
auction and sold. The moneys gained in this traffick- 
ing, which were immense, he used for a donative to the 
soldiers. 3 VIII. He also demanded from Commodus' 
freedmen the sums wherewith they had been en- 
riched when Commodus held his sales. 4 In the 
sale of Commodus' goods the following articles were 
especially noteworthy : robes of silk foundation with 
gold embroidery of remarkable workmanship ; tunics, 
mantles and coats ; tunics made with long sleeves in 
the manner of the Dalmatians 5 and fringed military 
cloaks ; purple cloaks made in the Greek fashion, 
and purple cloaks made for service in the camp. 
Also Bardaean hooded cloaks, 6 and a gladiator's toga 
and harness finished in gold and jewels ; also swords, 
such as those with which Hercules is represented, 
and the necklaces worn by gladiators, and vessels, 
some of pottery, some of gold, some of ivory, some of 
silver, and some of citrus wood. Also cups in the 
shape of the phallus, made of these same materials ; 
and Samnite pots for heating the resin and pitch used 
for depilating men and making their skins smooth. 
And furthermore, carriages, the very latest master- 
pieces of the art, made with entwined and carven 

Illyricum, but it was also manufactured in Gaul (see Martial, 
i. 53, 5). 



bus l et exquisitis sedilibus nunc ad solem declinandum 
7 nunc ad spiritus opportunitatem per vertiginem ; et 
alia iter metientia horasque moiistrantia et cetera 
vitiis eius convenientia. 

Reddidit praeterea dominis eos qui se ex privatis 

9 domibus in aulam contulerant. convivium impera- 

torium ex immense ad certum revocavit modum. 

lOsumptus etiam omnes Commodi recidit. 2 exemplo 

autem imperatoris, cum ille parcius se ageret, ex 

11 omnium conlimntia vilitas nata est. nam inipera- 

torium sumptum pulsis non necessariis ad soliti dimi- 

IX. dium detraxit. praemia militantibus posuit. aes 

alienum, quod primo imperil tempore contraxerat, 

2solvit. aerarium in suum statum restituit. ad opera 

publica certum sumptum constituit. rftformandis 

viis 3 pecuniam contulit. stipendia plurimis retro 

debita exsolvit. obeundis postremo cunctis muneri- 

3 bus fiscum parern fecit, alimentaria etiam compendia, 
quae novem annorum ex institute Traiani debebantur, 
obdurata verecundia sustulit. 

4 Avaritiae suspicione privatus non caruit, cum apud 4 
Vada Sabatia oppressis faenore possessoribus latius 

5suos tenderet 5 fines, denique ex versu Luciliano 
6agrarius mergus est appellatus. multi autem eum 

l urbibusP. 2 recidit Egnatius ; reddit P. 3 uiis 

Casaubon ; suis P. 4 aptit P. 6 tenderet Casaubon ; 

teneret P. 

1 Cf. c. xii. 5. 

2 See note to Hadr., vii. 8. Pertinax had himself held 
offices in this branch of the government ; see c. ii. 2 and c. 
iv. 1. 

3 Of. c. iii. 1. 4 Cf. c. xiii. 4. 

8 The famous satirist of the second century B.C. 



wheels and carefully planned seats that could be 
turned so as to avoid the sun at one moment, at 
another, face the breeze. There were other carriages 
that measured the road, and showed the time ; and 
still others designed for the indulgence of his vices. 

Pertinax restored to their masters, moreover, all 
slaves who had come from private homes to the 
Palace. He reduced the imperial banquets from 
something absolutely unlimited to a fixed standard, 1 
and, indeed, cut down all expenses from what they 
had been under Commodus. And from the example 
set by the emperor, who lived rather simply, there 
resulted a general economy and a consequent reduc- 
tion in the cost of living ; for by eliminating the 
un^essentials he reduced the upkeep of the court to 
half the usual amount. IX. He established rewards 
for the soldiers, paid the debt which he had con- 
tracted at the beginning of his reign, and restored 
the treasury to its normal condition. He set aside 
a fixed sum for public buildings, furnished funds for 
repairing the highways, and paid the arrears in the 
salaries of very many men. Finally, he made the 
privy-purse capable of sustaining all the demands 
made upon it, and with rigorous honesty he even 
assumed the responsibility for nine years' arrears of 
money for the poor 2 which was owed through a 
statute of Trajan's. 

Before he was made emperor he was not free from 
the suspicion of greed, 3 for he had extended his own 
holdings at Vada Sabatia 4 by foreclosing mortgages ; 
indeed, in a line quoted from Lucilius 5 he was called 
a land-shark. 6 Many men, moreover, have set down 

6 Properly a kind of sea-gull , proverbial as a type of voracious- 
ness ; see Pliny, Nat. Hist., xi. 202. 



etiam in provinciis, quas consularis gessit, sordide se 
egisse in litteras rettulere. nam vacationes et lega- 
7tiones militares dicitur vendidisse. denique cum 
parentum minimum esset patrimonium, et nulla 
hereditas obvenisset, subito dives est factus. 

8 Omnibus sane possessiones suas reddidit quibus 

9 Commodus ademerat, sed non sine pretio. senatui 
legitimo semper intermit ac semper aliquid rettulit. 
civilem se salutantibus et interpellantibus semper ex- 

lOhibuit. eos qui calumniis adpetiti per servos fuerant 
damnatis severius J delatoribus liberavit, in crucem 
sublatis talibus servis ; aliquos etiam mortuos vindi- 

X. Insidias paravit ei Falco consul, qui 2 questus est 

2 in senatu volens imp j rare. cui 3 quidem credidit sena- 
tus 4 cum 5 sibi quidam servus, quasi Fabiae t setique 6 
filius ex Ceionii Commodi familia, Palatinam domum 
ridicule 7 vindicasset, cognitusque iussus esset 8 flagellis 

3 caesus domino restitui. in cuius vindicta ii qui 9 
oderant Pertinacem occasionem seditionis invenisse 

4 dicuntur. Falconi tamen pepercit et a senatu im- 

l seucriu* Walter; scruis P. Peter. 2 Falco consul, qui 

questus Editor; Falco conque^tus P; lacuna ind. by Peter. 
3 cui Editor; quo P; quoa Egnatius, Peter 1 ; -^quo Peter 2 . 
4 senatus ins. by Editor; credidit, P, Peter. 5 cum sugg. 

by Peter ; dum P, Peter. 6 so P ; fauiae esset filius Edit, 

princeps. Peter 1 . 7 ridiculaP. s esset Baehrens, 

Unger, Peter 2 ; est P, Peter 1 . *quodP. 

1 According to Do, Ixxiii. 8, 2, the conspiracy was organized 
by Laetns and the guard, which objected to the stern discipline 
enforced by Pertinax; Falco was chosen merely as a promis- 
ing candidate for the throne. 

2 The text is hopelessly corrupt and the name of the pre- 
tender's father has been lost ; on Fabia see Marc., xsix. 10; 
Ver., x. 3-4. 



in writing that in those provinces which he ruled as 
proconsul he conducted himself in a grasping manner ; 
for he sold, they said, both exemptions from service 
and military appointments. And lastly, although his 
father's estate was very small, and no legacy was left 
him, he suddenly became rich. 

As a matter of fact, however, he restored to every- 
one the property of which Commodus had despoiled 
him, but not without compensation. He always at- 
tended the stated meetings of the senate and always 
made some proposal. To those who came to greet 
him or who accosted him he was always courteous. 
He absolved a number of men whose slaves had 
assailed them with false charges, and punished 
severely those who brought the accusation, crucifying 
all such slaves ; and he also rehabilitated the memory 
of some who had died. 

X. A plot was attempted against him 1 by Falco 
the consul, who, being eager to rule, made complaint 
in the senate. He, in fact, was believed by the 
senate, when a certain slave, on the ground that he 
was the son of Fabia and . . .'^ of the household of 
Ceionius Commodus, laid a baseless claim to the resi- 
dence on the Palatine and, on being recognised, was 
sentenced to be soundly flogged and returned to his 
master. In the punishment of this man those who 
hated Pertinax are said to have found an opportunity 
for an outbreak. Nevertheless, Pertinax spared 
Falco, and furthermore asked the senate to pardon 
him. 3 In the end Falco lived out his life in security 

3 He had been declared a public enemy by the senate, but 
Pertinax asked that his life should be spared, declaring that 
he wished no senator to be put to death during his reign ; 
see Dio, Ixxiii. 8, 5. 



5punitatem eius petiit. denique Falco in rebus suis 
6securus vixit et herede filio periit. quamvis multi 

7 Falconem nescisse dixerint imperium sibi parari. alii 
etiam servis, qui rationes interverterant, falsis testi- 
moniis adpetitum eum esse dixerunt. 

8 Sed Pertinaci factio praeparata est per Laetum 
praefectum praetorii et eos quos Pertinacis sancti- 

9 raonia offenderat. Laetum enira paenituerat quod 
imperatorem fecerat Pertinacem,, idcirco quia eum 
velut stultum intimatorem nonnullarum rerum 

10 reprehendebat. grave praeterea militibus visum, 

quod in causa Falconis multos milites ad unius servi 

XI. testimonium occidi praeceperat. trecenti igitur de 

castris armati ad imperatorias aedes l cuneo facto 

2 milites venere. eadem tamen die immolante Perti- 
nace negatur in hostia cor repertum ; et cum id vellet 
procurare, caput extorum non deprehendit. et tune 

Squidem omnes milites in castris manebant. qui cum 
e 2 castris ad obsequium principis convenissent, et 
Pertinax eo die processionem, quam 3 ad Athenaeum 
paraverat, ut audiret poetam, ob sacrificii praesagium 
distulisset, ii qui acl obsequium venerant redire in 

4 Castra coeperuiit. sed subito globus ille in Palatium 
pervenit neque aut arceri potuit aut imperatori nun- 

J aedes Egnatius ; caedes P. *e castris Petschenig ; cas- 
tris P ; de castris Peter. 3 quam om. in P. 

: The account of the murder of Pertinax, as given in Dio, 
Ixxiii. 9-10, agrees in the main with this version. 

'^According to Dio, Laetus had them put to death, alleging 
that it was by order of Pertinax. 

3 Two hundred, according to Dio. 

4 An auditorium built by Hadrian, where rhetoricians and 



and in possession of his property, and at his death his 
son succeeded to the inheritance. Many men, how- 
ever, claimed that Falco was unaware that men were 
planning to make him emperor, and others said that 
slaves who had falsified his accounts assailed him 
with trumped-up charges. 

However, a conspiracy l was organized against 
Pertinax by Laetus, the prefect of the guard, and 
sundry others who were displeased by his integrity. 
Laetus regretted that he had made Pertinax emperor, 
because Pertinax used to rebuke him as a stupid 
babbler of various secrets. It seemed to the soldiers, 
moreover, a very cruel measure, that in the matter of 
Falco he had had many of their comrades put to 
death on the testimony of a single slave. 2 XI. And 
so three hundred soldiers, 3 formed into a wedge, 
marched under arms from the camp to the imperial 
residence. On that day, it was said, no heart had 
been found in the victim when Pertinax performed a 
sacrifice, and when he tried to avert this evil omen, 
he was unable to discover the upper portion of the 
liver. And so on that day the great body of the 
soldiers remained in the camp. Some, indeed, had 
come forth from the camp in order to act as escort 
to the emperor, but Pertinax, because of the un- 
favourable sacrifice, postponed for that day a pro- 
jected visit to the Athenaeum, 4 where he had planned 
to hear a poet, and thereupon the escort began to re- 
turn to the camp. But just at that moment the band 
of troops mentioned above arrived at the i alace, and 
neither could they be prevented from entering nor 
could their entrance be announced to the Emperor. 

poets recited their works; see Alex., xxxv. 2; Qord. t iii. 4; 
Victor, de Caesaribus, 14. 



5 tiari. enimvero tantum odium in Pertinacem omnium 
aulicorum fuit, ut ad facinus milites hortarentur 

6 supervenerunt Pertinaci, cum ille aulicum famulicium 
ordinaret, ingressique porticus Palatii usque ad locum 

7qui appellatur Sicilia et lovis cenatio. hoc cognito 
Pertinax Laetum praefectum praetorii ad eos misit. 
sed ille declinatis militibus per porticus egressus 

8 adoperto capite domum se contulit. verum cum ad 
interiora prorumperent, Pertinax ad eos processit l 

9 eosque longa et gravi oratione placavit. sed cum 
Tausius quidam, uiius e Tungris, in iram et in timo- 
rem milites loquendo adduxisset, hastam in pectus 

10 Pertinacis obiecit. tune ille precatus lovem UJtorem 

11 toga caput operuit atque a ceteris confossus est. et 
Eclectus 2 quidem confossis duobus cum eodem periit ; 

12 reliqui autem cubicularii palatini (nam suos statim, ut 
imperator factus est, filiis emancipatis dederat) diffu- 

ISgerunt. multi sane dicunt, etiam cubiculum milites 
inrupisse atque illic circa lectum fugientem Pertinacem 

XII. Fuit autem senex venerabilis, inmissa barba, 

reflexo capillo, habitudine corporis pinguiore, ventre 

prominulo, statura imperatoria, eloquentia mediocri, 

et magis blandus quam bentgnus nee umquam credi- 

2tus jsimplex. et cum verbis esset affabilis, re erat 

l praecessit P. 2 Eclectus Peter ; eiectus P. 

] Consisting mostly of the libcrti Augusti, or imperial freed- 
men. They hated Pertinax because he had compelled them 
to disgorge their ill-gotten wealth; see c. viii. 1; xiii. 9; 
Dio, Ixxiii. 8, 1. 

z i.e. a son and a daughter; see c. xiii. 7 and Dio, Ixxiii. 7, 
3. Dio relates that Pertinax, after becoming emperor, trans- 
ferred his property to them and bade them take up their 



In fact, the palace-attendants l hated Pertinax with so 
bitter a hatred that they even urged on the soldiers 
to do the deed. The troops arrived just as Pertinax 
was inspecting the court-slaves, and, passing through 
the portico of the Palace, they advanced as far as the 
spot called Sicilia and the Banqueting-Hall ot Jupiter. 
As soon as he learned of their approach, Pertinax sent 
Laetus, the prefect of the guard, to meet them ; but 
he, avoiding the soldiers, passed out through the por- 
tico and betook himselt home with his face hidden 
from sight. After they had burst into the inner 
portion of the Palace, however, Pertinax advanced to 
meet them and sought to appease them with a long 
and serious speech. In spite of this, one Tausius, a 
Tungrian, after haranguing the soldiers into a state 
of fury and fear, hurled his spear at Pertinax' breast. 
And he, after a prayer to Jupiter the Avenger, veiled 
his head with his toga and was stabbed by the rest. 
Eclectus also, after stabbing two of his assailants, died 
with him, and the other court-chamberlains (his own 
chamberlains, as soon as he had been made emperor, 
Pertinax had given to his emancipated children 2 ) fled 
away in all directions. Many, it is true, say that 
the soldiers even burst into his bedroom, and there, 
standing,about his bed, slew him as he tried to flee. 
XII. He was a stately old man, with a long beard 
and hair brushed back. His figure was somewhat 
corpulent, with somewhat prominent abdomen, but 
his bearing was regal. He was a man of mediocre 
ability in speaking, and suave rather than kindly, nor 
was he ever considered ingenuous. Though friendly 

residence with their grandfather (see also c. xiii. 4). They 
were accordingly regarded as freed from the patria potestas, 
and so are described as emancipati. 



inliberalis 1 ac prope sordidus, ut dimidiatas lactucas 

3 et cardus in privata vita conviviis adponerat. et nisi 
quid missum esset edulium, quotquot essent amici, 

4 novem libras carnis per tres missus ponebat. si autem 
plus aliquid missum esset, etiam in alium diem differ- 

5 ebat, cum semper ad convivium multos vocaret. im- 
perator etiam, si sine convivis esset, eadem consuetu- 

6 dine cenitabat. amicis si quando de prandio suo 
mittere voluit, misit ofFulas binas aut omasi 2 partem, 
aliquando lumbos gallinaceos. phasianurn numquam 

7 privato convivio comedit aut 3 alicui misit. cum sine 
amicis ceny.ret, adhibebat uxorem suam et Valerianum, 
qui cumeodem docuerat, ut 4 fabulas Htteratas 5 haberet. 

8 Sane nullum ex iis quos Commodus rebus gerendis 
imposuerat mutavit, exspectans urbis natalem, quod 
eum diem rerum principium volebat esse, atque ideo 
etiam in balneis eiCommodiani ministri necem parasse 

XIII, dicuntur. imperium et omnia imperialia sic horruit, 

ut sibi semper ostenderet displicere. denique non 

2 alium se, quam fuerat, videri volebat. fuit in curia 

honorificentissimus, ita ut senatum faventem adoraret 

et quasi praefectus urbi cum omnibus sermonem 

1 inliberalis Jordan; inliberabilis P. <2 pomasi P. 

3 cumeditauit P. 4 ut om. in P. 5 litteratus P. 

a Cf. c. viii. 9-11. So also Dio, Ixxiii. 3, 4. 

2 Regarded as great dainties, and used by wise and frugal 
emperors only on occasions of especial importance ; see Alex., 
xxxvii. 6 and Tac. t xi. 5. For the converse see HeL, xxxii. 4. 

3 Of. c. i. 4. 

4 The Parilia, celebrated on the 21st Apnl ; for the rites 
that were performed see Ovid, Fasti, iv. 721 f. 

5 Of. c. xv. 8. 

6 The favourable impression made by Pertinax on the senate 



enough in speech, when it came to deeds, he was 
ungenerous and almost mean so mean, in fact, that 
before he was made emperor he used to serve at his 
banquets lettuce and the edible thistle in half portions. 
And unless someone made him a present of food, he 
would serve nine pounds of meat in three courses, no 
matter how many friends were present ; if anyone 
presented him with an additional amount, moreover, 
he would put off using it until the next day, and 
would then invite a great number of guests. Even 
after he had become emperor, if he had no guests he 
would dine in the same style. 1 And whenever he in 
turn wished to send his friends something from his 
table, he would send a few scraps or a piece of tripe, 
or occasionally the legs of a fowl. But he never ate 
pheasants 2 at his own banquets or sent them to others. 
And when he dined without guests, he would invite 
his wife and Valerianus, who had been a teacher to- 
gether with him, 3 in order that he might have literary 

He removed none of those whom Commodus had 
put in charge of affairs, preferring to wait until the 
anniversary of the founding of the city, 4 which he 
wished to make the official beginning of his reign ; 
and thus it came about, it is said, that the servants of 
Commodus plotted to slay him in his bath. XIII. The 
imperial power and all the appurtenances thereof 
he abhorred, 5 and he always made it quite evident 
that they were distasteful to him. In short, he did 
not wish to seem other than he really was. In the 
senate-house he was most punctilious, 6 doing reverence 
to the senate when it expressed its good will and con- 
is reflected all through the narrative of Dio (himself a senator 
at the time), but particularly in Ixxiii. 3, 4. 



3 participaret. voluit etiam imperium deponere atque 

4 ad privatam vitam redire. filios suos in Palatio nutriri 
noluit. 1 

Tam parcus autem et tarn lucri cupidus fuit, ut 
apud Vada Sabatia mercaturas exercuerit imperator 
per homines suos, non aliter quam privatus solebat. 
5necmultum tamen amatus est ; si quidem omnes qui 
libere fabulas conferebant male Pertinacem loque- 
bantur, christologum eum appellantes, qui bene 

6 loqueretur et male faceret. nam et cives sui, qui ad 
eum confluxerant iam imperatorem et nihil de eo 
meruerant, sic eum appellabant. munera quoque 
lucri libidine libenter accepit. 

7 Reliquit filium et filiam superstites et 2 uxorem, 
Flavii Sulpiciani filiam, quern praelectum urbi loco 

8suo fecerat. circa uxoris pudicitiam minus curiosus 
fuit, cum palam citharoedum ilia diligeret. ipse prae- 

9 terea Cornificiam infamissime dicitur dilexisse. libertos 
aulicos vehementissime compressit, unde grande quo- 
que odium contraxit. 

XIV. Signa interitus haec fuerunt : ipse ante tri- 
duum quam occideretur in piscina sibi visus est videre 

2 hominem cum gladio infestantem. et ea die qua occisus 

l uoluitP. 

1 See note to c. xi. 12. 2 Cf. c. ix. 4. 

3 A rendering of the Greek xP r ) (Tro ^7 os ^ which, according 
to Victor, Epitome, 18, 4, wis applied to Pertinax because he 
was blandus magis quam beneficus. 

4 See note to c. xi. 12. B Flavia Titiana ; see c. v. 4. 
6 See Did. JuL, ii. 4 f. 



versing with all the senators as though still prefect of 
the city. He even wished to resign the throne and 
retire to private life, and was unwilling to have 
his children reared in the Palace. 1 

On the other hand, he was so stingy and eager for 
money that even after he became emperor he carried 
on a business at Vada Sabatia 2 through agents, just 
as he had done as a private citizen. And despite his 
efforts, he was not greatly beloved ; certainly, all 
who talked freely together spoke ill of Pertinax, 
calling him the smooth-tongued, 3 that is, a man who 
speaks affably and acts meanly. In truth, his 
fellow-townsmen, who had flocked to him after his 
accession, and had obtained nothing from him, gave 
him this name. In his lust for gain, he accepted 
presents with eagerness. 

He was survived by a son and a daughter, 4 and by 
his wife, 5 the daughter of the Flavius Sulpiciaiius 6 
whom he made prefect of the city in his own place. 
He was not in the least concerned about his wife's 
fidelity, even though she carried on an amour quite 
openly with a man who sang to the lyre. He him- 
self, it is said, caused great scandal by an amour with 
Cornificia. 7 The freedmen attached to the court he 
kept within bounds with a strong hand, and in this 
way also he brought upon himself a bitter hatred. 8 

XIV. The warnings of his death were these : three 
days before he was killed he himself, on looking into 
a pool, seemed to behold a man attacking him with 
a sword. And on the day he was killed, they say, 
the pupils of his eyes, as well as the little pictures 

7 Probably the daughter of Marcus ; see note to Com., xvii. 

8 See c. xi. 5 and note. 



est negabant in oculis eius pupulas cum imaginibus, 

3 quas reddunt, spectantibus visas, et cum apud Lares 
sacrificaret, carbones vivacissimi exstincti sunt, cum 
inflammari soleant. et, ut supra dictum est, cor et 
caput in hostiis non est repertum. stellae etiam 
iuxta solem per diem clarissimae visae l ante diem a 

4 quam obiret. et ipse omen de luliano successore 
dedisse dicitur. nam cum ei Didius lulianus fratris 
filium obtulisset, cui despondebat filiam suam, adhor- 
tatus est iuvenem ad patrui observationem et 3 adie- 
cit : " Observa collegam et successorem meum ". 

5 nam ante lulianus ei et in consulatu collega fuerat et 
in proconsulatu successerat. 

6 Milites eum et aulici odio habuerunt, populus mor- 
tem eius indignissime tulit, quia videbat omnia per 

7 eum antiqua posse restitui. caput eius conto fixum 
milites qui eum occiderant per urbem in castra per- 

8tulerunt. reliquiae eius recuperate capite in sepul- 

9 chro avi uxoris locatae sunt. et lulianus, successor 

illius, corpus eius quanto potuit honore funeratus est, 

10 cum id in Palatio repperisset. qui numquam eius 

ullam mentionem vel apud populum vel apud sena- 

tum publice fecit, sed cum ipse quoque a militibus 

desertus iam esset, per senatum et populum Pertinax 

XV. in deos relates est. sub Severo autem imperatore 

cum senatus ingens testimonium habuisset Pertinax, 

1 uisae P ; uisae sunt Peter. 3 diem Casaubon ; dies P. 

s et ins. by Peter ; om. in P. 

1 c. xi. 2. 2 Cf. Did. Jul., ii. 3. 

8 In Africa ; see c. iv. 1 and Did. Jul., ii. 3. 
4 Cf. c. x. 10 and xi. 5. 

6 See Sev., vii. 8, and the coins with Divus Pertinax and 
Consecratio, Cohen, iii 2 , p. 390 f., nos. 6-12. The elaborate 



which they reflect, were invisible to those who looked 
into them. And when he was performing sacrifices 
to the Lares the living coals died out, though they 
are wont to flame up. Furthermore, as we related 
above, 1 the heart and upper portion of the liver could 
not be found in the victims. And on the day before 
he died, stars of great brilliancy were seen near the 
sun in the day-time. He was responsible himself, it 
is said, for an omen about his successor, Julianus. 
For when Didius Julianus presented a nephew of his, 
to whom he was betrothing his daughter, the Emperor 
exhorted the young man to show deference to his 
uncle, and added : " Honour my colleague and 
successor." 2 For Julianus had previously been his 
colleague in the consulship and had succeeded hinica. 175 
in his proconsular command. 3 

The soldiers and court-retainers regarded him with 
hatred, 4 but the people felt great indignation at his 
death, since it had seemed that all the ancient customs 
might be restored through his efforts. His head, fixed 
on a pole, was carried through the city to the camp 
by the soldiers who killed him. His remains, in- 
cluding his head, which was recovered, were laid in 
the tomb of his wife's grandfather. And Julianus, 
his successor, buried his body with all honour, after 
he had found it in the Palace. At no time, however, 
did he make any public mention of Pertinax either 
before the people or, in the presence of the senate, 
but when he, too, was deserted by the soldiers Pertinax 
was raised to the rank of the gods by the senate and 
the people. 5 XV. In the reign of Severus, moreover, 
after Pertinax had received the full official approval 

funeral-ceremonies are described in detail by Dio, an eye- 
witness ; see Ixxiv. 4-5. 



funus imaginarium ei et censorium ductum est, et ab 

2 ipso Severe funebri laudatione ornatus est. ipse 
autem Severus amore boni principis a senatu Perti- 

3 nacis nomen accepit. filius Pertinacis patri flamen est 
4factus. Marciani sodales, qui divi Marci sacra cura- 

bant, Helviani sunt dicti propter Helvium Pertinacera. 

5 circenses et imperil natalis additi, qui a Severe postea 
sublati sunt, et genitalicii, qui l manent. 

6 Natus autem kal. Augustis Vero et Ambibulo 2 con- 
sulibus. interiectus est V kal. Apr. Falcone et Claro 
consulibus. vixit annis LX meusibus VII diebus 

7 XXVI. imperavit mensibus II diebus XXV. congiar- 
ium dedit populo denarios centenos. praetorianis pro- 
misit duodena milia nummum sed dedit sena. quod 
exercitibus promissum est datum non est, quia mors 
eum praevenit. horruisse autem ilium imperium epis- 

8 tula docet, quae vitae illius a Mario Maximo apposita 
est. quam ego inserere 3 ob nimiam longitudinem 

1 genitalicii qui Casaubon ; geniti aliqui P. 2 Bibulo P. 
3 inserere Puteanus ; inseri P. 

note to Sev. t vii. 8. 2 See Sev., vii. 9 and note. 

3 See note to Marc., xv. 4. 

4 They are listed in the Calendar of Philocalus of 354 A.D. ; 
see C.I.L., i 2 , p. 270. On the custom of celebrating an 
emperor's birthday by races in the circus see note to Hadr. t 
viii. 2. 



of the senate, an honorary funeral, of the kind that 
would be accorded to a censor, was held for him, 1 
and Severus himself honoured him with a funeral 
eulogy. Severus, furthermore, out of respect for so 
good a ruler, accepted from the senate the name 
Pertinax. 2 Pertinax' son was made his father's priest, 
and the Marcian brotherhood, 3 who performed the 
sacrifices to the Deified Marcus, were called Helviani 
in honour of Helvius Pertinax. There were added, 
also, circus-games and a celebration to commemorate 
the anniversary of his accession, but these were after- 
wards abolished by Severus. The birthday-games 
decreed for him, however, are still observed. 4 

He was born on the Kalends of August in the 1 Aug., 
consulship of Verus and Ambibulus, and was killed 
on the fifth day before the Kalends of April in the 26 Mar., 
consulship of Falco and Clarus. He lived sixty 
years, 5 seven months and twenty-six days, and reigned 
for two months and twenty-five days. He gave the 
people a largess of one hundred denarii apiece, 6 and 
promised twelve thousand sesterces to each soldier of 
the guard, though he gave only six thousand. 7 The 
sum promised to the armies he did not give for the 
reason that death forestalled h m. A letter which 
Marius Maximus included in his life of Pertinax shows 
that he shrank from taking the imperial power, 8 but 
this letter, on account of its great length, I have not 
thought best to insert. 

5 More correctly, sixty-six. 6 See note to c. vii. 11. 

7 See note to c. iv. 6. 8 0(. c. xiii. 1. 




I. Didio luliano, qui post Pertinacem imperium 
adeptus est, proavus fuit Salvius l lulianus, bis consul, 
praefectus urbi et iuris consultus, quod magis eum 
2nobilem fecit, mater Clara Aemilia, pater Petronius 
Didius Severus, fratres Didius Proculus et Nummius 
Albinus, avunculus Salvius lulianus. avus paternus 
Insubris Mediolanensis, maternus ex Hadrumetina 

3 Educatus est apud Domitiam Lucillam, matrem 

4 Marci imperatoris. inter viginti viros lectus est 
suffragio matris Marci. quaestor ante annum quam 

5legitima aetas sinebat designatus est. aedilitatem 

suffragio Marci consecutus est. praetor eiusdem 

6 suffragio fuit. post praeturam legioni praefuit in 

1 albius P. 

1 See Hadr., xviii. 1 and note. It is improbable that Didius 
was related to Salvius Julianus, for his family came from 
Milan, and since an inscription which connected Salvius with 
this city has been shown to be a forgery, there is no reason for 
supposing that he was a native of Milan. At any rate, 
Salvius, who was born toward the end of the first century, 
was not the great-grandfather of Didius, who was born not 
later than 137 (see c. ix. 3 and note). 

2 See Marc., i. 3. 





I. Didius Julianus, who gained possession of the 
empire after Pertinax, was the great-grandson of 
Salvius Julianus, 1 a man who was twice consul, pre- 
fect of the city, and an authority in jurisprudence 
which, more than anything else, had made him 
famous. His mother was Aemilia Clara, his father 
Petronius Didius Severus, his brothers Didius Pro- 
culus and Nummius Albinus ; another Salvius Julianus 
was his uncle. His father's father was an Insubrian 
from Milan, his mother's came from the colony of 

He himself was reared at the home of Domitia 
Lucilla, 2 the mother of the Emperor Marcus, and 
through the support of this lady he was elected to 
the Board of Twenty. 3 He was appointed quaestor 
a year before he reached the legal age, 4 and through 
the support of Marcus he attained to the office of 
aedile. Again with the support of Marcus he became 
praetor. 5 After his praetorship he commanded the 

3 According to an inscription found at Rome (C.I.L., vi. 
1401 = Dessau, Ins. Sel., 412) he was decemvir litibus iudi- 
candis, on which see note to Hadr., ii. 2. 

4 See note to Pius, vi. 10. 

6 A rescript addressed to him by Marcus is mentioned in 
Digesta, xxviii. 1, 20, 9. 



7Germania vicensimae secundae Primigeniae. inde 
Belgicam sancte ac diu rexit. ibi Chaucis, Germaniae 
populis qui Albiin fluvium adcolebant, erumpentibus 

Srestitit tumultuariis auxiliis provincialium. ob quae 
consulatum meruit testimonio imperatoris. Chattos 

9 etiam debellavit. hide Dalmatian! regendam accepit 
eamque a confinibus hostibus vindicavit. post Ger- 
II. maniam inferiorem rexit. post hoc curam alimen- 
torum in Italiam meruit. tune factus est reus per 
quendam Severum Clarissimum militem coniurationis 
cum Salvio contra Commodum, sed a Commodo, quia 
multos iam senatores occiderat et quidem nobiles ac 
potentes in causis maiestatis, ne tristius gravaretur, 

2 Didius liberatus est accusatore damnato. absolutus 
iterum ad regendam provinciam missus est. Bithy- 
niam deinde rexit, sed non ea fama qua ceteras. 

3 Fuit consul cum Pertinace et in proconsulatu 
Africae eidem l successit et semper ab eo collega est 
et successor appellatus. maxime eo die cum filiam 
suam lulianus despondens adfini suo ad Pertinacem 
venisset idque intimasset, dixit :".... que debita 
reverentia, quia collega et successor meus est." 

4 statim enim mors Pertinacis secuta est. quo inter- 

1 idem P. 

1 The inscription does not mention this command, but re- 
cords that he was assistant (le-gatus) to the proconsuls both of 
Achaia and Africa. 

2 This and the four other provincial governorships are all 
enumerated in the inscription. 

3 See note to Pert., iv. 1. The mention of this office seems 
to be out of the chronological order, for he was consul about 
175 (see below), and the alleged conspiracy of P. Salvius 
Julianus against Gommodus was not until 182 (see Com., iv. 



Twenty-second Legion, 1 the Primigenia, in Germany, 
and following that he ruled Belgium 2 long and well. 
Here, with auxiliaries hastily levied from the provinces, 
he held out against the Chauci (a people of Germany 
who dwelt on the river Elbe) as they attempted to 
burst through the border ; and for these services, on 
the recommendation of the emperor, he was deemed 
worthy of the consulship. He also gained a crushing 
victory over the Chatti. Next he took charge of 
Dalmatia and cleared it of the hostile tribes on its 
borders. II. Then he governed Lower Germany ; and 
after that he was deemed worthy of superintend- 
ing the distribution of grants of money to the poor 
in Italy. 3 In this position he was accused by one 
Severus Clarissimus, a soldier, of being an associate of 
Salvius 4 in his conspiracy against Commodus. But 
Commodus had already put many senators and many 
distinguished and powerful men to death on the 
charge of treason, and so he was afraid of acting too 
harshly and therefore pardoned Didius and executed 
his accuser. Thus acquitted, Didius was sent again 
to govern a province. Then he governed Bithynia, 
but not as creditably as the other provinces. 

His consulship he served with Pertinax ; in the C a. 175 
proconsulship of Africa, 5 moreover, he succeeded him. 
Pertinax always spoke of him as his colleague and 
successor ; on that day, in particular, when Julianus, 
after betrothing his daughter to a kinsman of his own, 
came to Pertinax and informed him of the fact, 
Pertinax said : " . . . and due respect, for he is my 
colleague and successor ". 6 The death of Pertinax 
ensued immediately afterwards. After his death, 

4 i.e. P. Salvius Julianus. 

5 Of. Pert., iv. 1. 6 Of. Pert., adv. 4. 



fecto cum Sulpicianus imperator in castris appellari 
vellet, et lulianus cum genero ad senatum venisset, 
quern indictum acceperat, cumque clausas valvas in- 

5 venisset atque illic duos tribunes repperisset, Publium l 
Florianum et Vectium 2 Aprum, coeperunt cohortari 
tribuni, ut locum arriperet. quibus cum 3 diceret iam 
alium imperatorem appellatum, retinentes eum ad 

6 praetoria castra duxerunt. sed posteaquam in castra 
veiitum est, cum 4 Sulpiciano praefecto urbi, socero 
Pertinacis, contionante sibique imperium vindicante 
lulianum e muro ingentia pollicentem null us ad- 
mitteret, primum lulianus monuit praetorianos, ne 
eum facerent imperatorem, qui Pertinacem vindi- 
caret ; deinde scripsit in tabulis se Commodi memo- 

7riam restituturum. atque ita est admissus et 5 im- 
perator appellatus, rogantibus praetorianis ne 
Sulpiciano aliquid noceret, quod imperator esse 

III. Tune lulianus Flavium Genialem et Tullium 
Crispinum suffragio praetorianorum praefectos praetorii 
fecit stipatusque est caterva imperatoria per Mauren- 

2tium, qui et ante Sulpiciano coniunxerat. sane cum 
vicena quina milia militibus promisisset, tricena dedit. 

1 publicumP. ^uectium P.; Vettium Jordan, Peter. 

s cum om. in P 1 . 4 cum om. in P 1 . 6 est admissus et 

Peter ; et admissus est P. 

1 GL Pert., xiii. 7. 

2 The scene at the camp is described in greater detail by 
Dio (Ixxiii. 11), especially the famous auction of the empire 
by the soldiers, in which Sulpicianus and Didius bid against 



when Sulpicianus 1 was making plans to be hailed 
emperor in the camp, Julianus, together with his 
son-in-law, came to the senate, which, he heard, 
had been summoned, but found the doors closed. 
At the same time he discovered there two tri- 
bunes, Publius Florianus and Vectius Aper, who 
immediately began urging him to seize the throne ; 
and though he pointed out to them that another 
man was already proclaimed emperor, they held 
him fast and conducted him to the praetorian 
camp. 2 When they arrived at the camp, however, 
Sulpicianus, the prefect of the city and the father-in- 
law of Pertinax, was holding an assembly and claiming 
the empire himself, and no one would let Julianus 
inside, despite the huge promises he made from out- 
side the wall. Julianus then first warned the soldiers 
not to proclaim anyone emperor who would avenge 
Pertinax, and next wrote on placards that he would 
restore the good name 3 of Commodus ; so he was ad- 
mitted and proclaimed emperor, the soldiers at the 
same time requesting that he would not in any way 
injure Sulpicianus for aiming at the throne. 

III. Immediately thereafter, on the recommenda- 
tion of the praetorians themselves, Julianus appointed 
Flavius G^nialis and Tullius Crispinus prefects of 
the guard, and through the efforts of Maurentius, 
who had previously declared for Sulpicianus, he was 
attended by the imperial body-guard. Although he 
had promised five and twenty thousand sesterces to 

each other. Dio's account, however, must be used with 
caution, for his whole narrative shows a decided animus 
against Didius. 

3 i.e. restore it to the public records and monuments ; see 
Com., xvii. 6; xx. 5. 



3 dein l habita contione militari vespera in senatum 
venit totumque se senatui permisit factoque senatus 
consulto imperator est appellatus, et tribuniciam 
potestatem ius proconsulare in patricias familias re- 

41atus emeruit. uxor etiam Manila Scantilla et filia 

5 eius Didia Clara Augustae sunt appellatae. inde se 
ad Palatiurn recepit, uxore ac filia illuc vocatis 
trepidis invitisque 2 transeuntibus, quasi iam imminens 

eexitium praesagirent. praefectum urbi Cornelium 
Repentinum, generum suum, fecit in locum Sulpici- 

7 Erat interea in odio populi Didius lulianus ob hoc, 
quod creditum fuerat emendationem temporum Cora- 
modi Pertinacis auctoritate reparandam, habebaturque 

8ita, quasi luliani consilio esset interemptus. et iam 
hi primum qui lulianum odisse coeperant dissemina- 
runt prima statim die Pertinacis cena despecta 
luxuriosum parasse convivium ostreis et altilibus et 
piscibus adornatum. quod falsum fuisse constat. 

gnam lulianus tantae parsimoniae fuisse perhibetur, 

1 dein Peter ; in P 1 . 2 inuitisque Peter 1 ; inuitis eo P ; 

t inuitis eo Peter 2 . 

1 Marcus and Verus had given twenty thousand (Marc. , vii. 
9), Pertinax twelve thousand (Pert., xv. 7). According to 
Herodian (ii. 7, 1) Didius did not pay what he had promised, 
because the money was not available. 

2 His appearance before the senate is more fully described 
by Dio, who was present ; see Ixxiii. 12. Dio's account is 
much less favourable to Didius than the account given here, 
which seems to aim at representing him as the choice of the 

3 The emperors of the Julio-Claudian house had been patri- 
cians, and hence it was considered necessary for the emperor 
to have this rank. Accordingly, when a plebeian was elected 



each soldier, he gave thirty. 1 Then, after holding an 
assembly of the soldiers, he came in the evening to 
the senate, 2 and entrusted himself to it without con- 
ditions ; thereupon, by decree of the senate he was 
acclaimed emperor and, after being raised to a place 
among the patrician families, 3 he received the tribu- 
nician power and the rights of a proconsul. 4 His 
wife Manlia Scantilla, moreover, and his daughter, 
Didia Clara, were given the name Augusta ; 5 and 
thereupon he betook himself to the Palace and 
thither summoned his wife and daughter, who came, 
though with considerable trepidation and reluctance 
as if they already foresaw impending doom. 6 Corne- 
lius Repentinus, his son-in-law, he made prefect of 
the city in place of Sulpicianus. 

The people, meanwhile, detested Julianus because 
it had been their belief that the abuses of Corn- 
modus' regime were to be reformed by the influence 
of Pertinax, and he was considered to have been 
killed with Julianus' connivance. And now, those 
who had begun to hate Julianus were the first, 
to spread it abroad that on the very first day of 
his reign, to show his contempt for Pertinax' board, 
he had served an extravagant banquet embellished 
with such dainties as oysters and fatted birds and fish. 
This story, it is generally agreed, was false. 7 For 
according to report, Julianus was so frugal as to make 

(as was the case from Vespasian onward, with the sole ex- 
ception of Nerva), the senate raised him to the patriciate. 

4 See note to Pius, iv. 7. 

5 Augusta appears on the coins of both ; see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 
401 f. ' 

6 According to Herodian (ii. 6, 7) it was the two women 
who persuaded Didius to bid for the throne. 

7 Dio, however, asserts it as a fact ; see Ixxiii. 13. 1. 



ut per triduum porcellum, per triduum leporem 
divideret, si quis ei l forte misisset, saepe autem 
nulla exsistente religione holeribus leguminibusque 
10 contentus sine carne cenaverit. deinde neque cenavit 
priusquam sepultus esset Pertinax, et tristissimus 
cibum ob ems necem sumpsit et primam noctem 
vigiliis continuavit, de tanta necessitate sollicitus. 

IV. Ubi vero primum inluxit, senatum et equestrem 
ordinem in Palatium venientem admisit atque unum- 
quemque, ut erat aetas, vel fratrem 2 vel filium vel 

2 parentem adfatus blandissime est. sed populus in 
Rostris atque ante curiam ingentibus eum conviciis 
lacessebat, sperans deponi ab eo posse imperium quod 

3 milites 3 dederant. lapidationem quoque fecere. de- 
scendenti cum militibus et senatu in curiam diras 
imprecati sunt, rem divinam facienti ne litaret 4 

4 optarunt. lapides etiam in eum iecerunt, cum luli- 

5 anus manu eos semper placare cuperet. ingressus 
autem curiam, placide et prudenter verba fecit, egit 
gratias, quod esset adscitus, quod et ipse et uxor et 
filia eius Augustorum nomen acceperunt. patris 
patriae quoque nomen recepit, argenteam statuam 

Grespuit. e senatu in Capitolium pergenti populus 
obstitit, sed ferro et vulneribus et pollicitationibus 

l et P. 2 fratrem Peter 2 ; patrem P. 3 mites P 1 . 

4 ne litaret Edit, princeps ; elitaret P. 

} 0n the other hand, Herodian (ii. 7, 1) emphasizes his 
luxury and extravagance. 

2 A similar description of what happened in front of the 



a suckling pig or a hare last for three days, if anyone 
by chance presented him with one ; and often, more- 
over, even when there was no religious reason there- 
for, he was content to dine on cabbages and beans 
without meat. 1 Furthermore, he gave no banquet 
until after Pertinax was buried, and, because of his 
death, took what food he did in a very depressed 
state of mind, and passed the first night in continual 
wakefulness, disquieted by such a fate. 

IV. But when the day dawned, he admitted the 
senators and knights who came to the Palace, and 
greeted each very cordially, either as brother, or son, 
or father, according to his age. The populace, how- 
ever, at the Rostra and in front of the senate-house, 2 
assailed him with violent revilings, hoping that he 
might resign the sovereignty which the soldiers had 
given him ; and they even launched a shower of 
stones. As he came down to the senate-house with 
the soldiers and senate, they heaped curses upon him, 
and when he performed the sacrifices, wished that he 
might not obtain favourable omens ; they even hurled 
stones at him, though Julianus, with uplifted hand, 
continually sought to calm them. When he entered 
the senate-house, he spoke calmly and discreetly, and 
returned thanks because he had been chosen, and be- 
cause he, his wife, and his daughter, had been given 
the titles of Augustus and Augusta. He accepted 
also the name of Father of his Country, but refused 
a silver statue. Then, as he proceeded from the 
senate-house to the Capitol, the populace placed 
themselves in his way, but by the sword, by wounds, 
and by promises of gold-pieces, the number of which 

senate-house and in the Circus is given in Dio, Ixxiii. 13, 



aureorum, quos l digitis ostendebat ipse lulianus ut 

7 fidem faceret, summotus atque depulsus est. inde 
ad circeiise spectaculum itum est. sed occupatis 
indifferenter omnium subselliis populus geminavit 
convicia in lulianum ; Pescennium Nigrum, qui iam 
imperare dicebatur, ad urbis praesidium vocavit. 

8 haec omnia lulianus placide tulit totoque imperil sui 
tempore mitissimus fuit. populus autem in milites 
vehementissime invehebatur, qui ob pecuniam Perti- 
nacem occidissent. multa igitur quae Commodus 
statuerat, Pertinax tulerat, ad conciliandum favorem 

9 populi restituit. de ipso Pertinace neque male neque 
bene quicquam egit, quod gravissimum plurimis visum 

10 est. constitit autem propter metum militum de 
honore Pertinacis taciturn esse. 2 

V. Et lulianus quidem neque Britannicos exercitus 
neque Illyricos timebat, Nigrum vero misso primi- 
pilario occidi praeceperat, timens praecipue Syriacos 

2 exercitus. ergo Pescennius Niger in Syria, Septimius 
Severus in Illyrico 3 cum exercitibus quibus praeside- 

3 bant a luliano descivere. sed cum ei nuntiatum esset 
Severum descivisse, quern suspectum non habuerat, 
perturbatus est et 4 ad senatum venit impetravitque 5 

4 ut hostis Severus renuntiaretur ; militibus etiam qui 

1 quod P. 2 est P. 3 niger in illyrico s. seuerus in 

syria P. 4 et om. in P. 6 impetrauitgue P (Dessau) ; 

imperauitque Peter. 

1 The populace took the seats that were reserved for senators 
aud knights. 

2 Of. Peso. Nig., iii. 1. 

8 Except to give his body honourable burial ; see o. iii. 10 
and Pert., xiv. 9. 

4 Under the command of Clodius Albiuus. 

5 Of. Pesc. Nig., ii. 4. 



he himself, in order to inspire trust, kept show- 
ing to them on his fingers, they were dispersed 
and beaten back. Thereupon, all went to the games 
at the Circus ; but here, after everyone had seized 
seats indiscriminately, 1 the populace redoubled their 
insults against Julianus and called for Pescennius 
Niger (who was said to have already declared himself 
emperor) to protect the city. 2 All this Julianus took 
with perfect equanimity ; indeed all through the time 
he was on the throne he was exceedingly tolerant. 
The populace, however, kept inveighing with the ut- 
most violence against the soldiers, who had slain 
Pertinax, so they said, for money. And so, in order 
to win favour with the people, Julianus restored many 
measures which Commodus had enacted and Pertinax 
had repealed. Concerning Pertinax himself he took 
no steps either good or evil, 3 a fact which to very 
many seemed a serious matter. It is generally agreed, 
however, that it was his fear of the soldiers that 
caused him to keep silent about the honours due 

V. As a matter of fact, however, Julianus had no fear 
of either the British 4 or the Illyriaii army ; but being 
chiefly afraid of the Syrian army, he despatched a 
centurion of the first rank with ordjrs to murder 
Niger. 5 Consequently Pescennius Niger in Syria 6 
and Septimius Severus in Illyricum, 7 together with 
the armies which they commanded, revolted from 
Julianus. But when he received the news of the 
revolt of Severus, whom he had not suspected, then 
he was greatly troubled and came to the senate and 
prevailed upon them to declare Severus a public 
enemy. As for the soldiers who had followed Severus, 

6 See Pesc. Nig., ii. 1. 7 See Sev., v. 1. 



Severum secuti fuerant dies praestitutus, ultra quam, 
si cum Severe fuissent, hostium numero haberentur. 

5 missi sunt praeterea legati a senatu consulares ad 
milites, qui suaderent ut Severus repudiaretur, et is 

6 esset imperator quem senatus elegerat. inter ceteros 
legatus est Vespronius Candidus, vetus consularis, 
olim militibus invisus ob durum et sordidum im- 

7 perium. missus est successor Severe Valerius Catul- 
linus, quasi posset ei succedi, qui militem iam sibi 

8 tenebat. missus praeterea Aquilius centurio, notus 

9 caedibus senatoriis, qui Severum occideret. ipse 
autem lulianus praetorianos in campum deduci iubet, 
muniri turres, sed milites desides et urbana luxuria 
dissolutos invitissimos ad exercitium militare produxit, 
ita ut vicarios operis, quod unicuique praescribebatur, 
mercede conducerent. 

VI. Et Severus quidem ad urbem infesto agmine 
veniebat, sed Didius lulianus nihil cum exercitu 
praetoriano proficiebat, quem cotidie populus et magis 
2oderat et ridebat. et lulianus sperans Laetum fau- 
torem Severi, cum per eum Commodi manus evasisset 
ingratus tanto beneficio iussit eum occidi. iussit 
etiam Marciam una l interfici. 

1 Marciam una Mommsen ; marci mannum P. 

1 He had been governor of Dacia under Corumodus ; see 
C.J.I/., iii. 1092. 

2 Of. Pesc. Nig., ii. 5. * Of. Sev., v. 8 ; Peso. Nig., ii. 6. 
4 A picture of the confusion in Rome is given in Dio, Ixxiii. 16. 
'According to Dio (Ixxiii. 16, 5) he executed Laetus, 

Marcia and the athlete Narcissus in order in punish those 
guilty of the murder of Commodus. 



a day was appointed for them after which they 
would be considered as public enemies if they were 
still with Severus. Besides this, legates of consular 
rank were sent by the senate to the soldiers to per- 
suade them that they should reject Severus and let 
him be emperor whom the senate had chosen. Among 
others of the legates was Vespronius Candidas, 1 an 
old man of consular rank, now for a long time re- 
pugnant to the soldiers because of his harsh and 
penurious rule. Valerius Catullinus was sent as 
Severus' successor, 2 as if, in sooth, it were possible to 
appoint a successor to a man who already had an 
army devoted to himself. And in addition to these 
others, the centurion Aquilius, notorious as the 
assassin of senators, was sent for the purpose of 
murdering Severus. 3 But as for Julianus himself, he 
gave orders that the praetorians should be led out- 
side the city, and that the fortifications should be 
manned ; 4 but it was a slothful force that he led out, 
and one demoralized by the fleshpots of the city and 
intensely averse to active service, so much so, indeed, 
that they actually hired substitutes for the duties 
severally enjoined upon them. 

VI. All the while, Severus was approaching the city 
with a hostile army ; but in spite of that, Didius 
Julianus accomplished nothing with his praetorian 
troops, and the populace hated and laughed at him 
more and more every day. And although he had 
escaped from Commodus' clutches by the aid of 
Laetus, nevertheless, unmindful of this great favour, 
Julianus ordered Laetus to be put to death in the 
expectation that he would side with Severus. 5 He 
gave orders likewise that Marcia should be put to 
death at the same time. 


3 Sed dum haec egit lulianus, Severus classera 
Ravennatem occupat, legati senatus, qui luliano 
promiserant operam suam, ad Severum transierunt. 

4 Tullius Crispinus, praefectus praetorio, contra Severum 
missus ut classem produceret, repulsus Romam rediit. 

5 haec cum lulianus videret, senatum rogavit ut 
virgines Vestales et ceteri sacerdotes cum senatu 
obviam exercitui Severi prodirent et praetentis infulis 
rogarent, inanem rem l contra barbaros milites parans. 

6 haec tamen agenti luliano Plautius 2 Quintillus con- 
sularis augur contradixit, adserens non debere imperare 

7 eum qui armis adversario non posset resistere. cui 
multi senatores consenserunt. quare iratus Didius 
milites e castris petiit, qui senatum ad obsequium 

Scogerent aut obtruncarent. sed id consilium dis- 
plicuit. neque enim decebat, ut, cum senatus hostem 
Severura luliani causa iudicasset, eundem lulianum 

9 pateretur infestum. quare meliore consilio ad sena- 
tum venit petiitque, ut fieret senatus consultum de 
participatione imperil, quod statim factum est. 
VII. Tune omen quod sibi lulianus, cum imperium 

2acciperet, fecerat omnibus venit in mentem. nam 
cum consul designatus de eo sententiam dicens ita pro- 

1 rem ins. by Peter ; om. in P. 2 Plautius Peter ; phaus- 
tius P. 

J The station of the Adriatic fleet; the headquarters of the 
fleet that guarded the western coast were at Misenum, on the 
Bay of Naples. 

2 Of. Sev., v. 6. 

3 His troops deserted to Severus ; see c. viii. 4. and Dio, 
Ixxiii. 17, 1. 



While Julianus was engaged in these activities, how- 
ever, Severus seized the fleet stationed at Ravenna ; l 
whereupon the envoys of the senate who had promised 
their services to Julianus passed over to Severus. 2 
Tullius Crispinus, the prefect of the guard, who had 
been sent to oppose Severus and lead out the fleet, 
failed in his attempt 3 and therefore returned to 
Rome. When Julianus learned of these events, he 
came to the senate with a proposal that the Vestal 
Virgins and the priests, along with the senate itself 
should go out to meet Severus' troops and entreat 
them with fillets held in outstretched hands 4 a 
futile step, surely, to take against soldiers of barbarian 
blood. In this proposal, however, Plautius Quintillus, 
an augur and man of consular rank, 5 opposed him, de- 
claring that he who could not withstand an opponent 
by force of arms had no right to rule ; in this objection 
many senators agreed with him. Infuriated at this, 
Didius Julianus called for soldiers from the camp in 
order either to force the senators to obedience or to 
slaughter them. But this plan found no favour. For 
it was scarcely fitting that the senate, after declar- 
ing Severus a public enemy for Julianus' sake, should 
find an enemy in this same Julianus. And so Julianus 
came to the senate with a better plan, and asked it 
to pass a decree effecting a division of empire. 6 And 
this was forthwith done. 

VII. At that time an omen, for which Julianus 
himself had been responsible when he accepted the 
imperial power, came to everyone's mind. For when 
the consul-elect, in voting on Julianus, delivered 

4 The conventional attitude of suppliants. 

5 He was consul in 177. 6 Cf. Sev., v. 7. 



nuntiasset : " Didium lulianum imperatorem appel- 
landurn esse censeo/' lulianus suggessit " Adde et 
Severum," quod cognon.entum avi x et proavi sibi 

3 lulianus adsciverat. sunt tamen qui dicant nullum 
fuisse luliani consilium de obtruncando senatu, cum 
tanta in eum senatus consuluisset. 2 

4 Post senatus consultum statim Didius lulianus 

5 unum ex praefectis, Tullium Crispinum, misit. ipse 
autem tertium fecit praefectum Veturium Macrinum, 
ad quern Severus litteras miserat, ut esset praefectus. 

6 sed pacem simulatam esse mandatamque y caedem 
Severi Tullio Crispino, praefecto praetorii, et populus 

7locutus est et Severus suspicatus. denique hostem 
se luliano Severus esse maluit quam participera con- 

8 sensu militum. Severus autem statim et ad plurimos 
Romam scripsit et occulto misit edicta, quae proposita 

9 sunt. fuit praeterea in luliano haec amentia, ut per 
magos pleraque faceret, quibus putaret 4 vel odium 

10 populi deleniri vel militum arma compesci. nam et 
quasdam non convenientes Romanis sacris hostias im- 
molaverunt et carmina profana incantaverunt, et ea 
quae ad speculum dicunt 5 fieri, in quo pueri prae- 
ligatis oculis incantato vertice respicere dicuntur, 

11 lulianus fecit, tuncque puer vidisse dicitur et adven- 
tum Severi et luliani decessionem. 

1 habui P. 2 consuluisset P ; contulisset Peter. 3 man- 
datamque Ursinus ; tantamque P. 4 putaret Egnatius ; 
uitaret P. s ducunt P. 

1 This name appears in the inscription cited ahove (see note 
to c. i. 4) and on some of his coins ; see Cohen iii'- 5 , p. 398 f., 
nos., 1, 3, 7, etc. 

z i.e. to Severus, ofiering him a share of the empire. 

3 See note to Hadr., ix. 5. 



himself of the following: "I vote that Didius 
Julianus be declared emperor," Julianus prompted 
"Say also Severus," the name of his grandfather and 
great-grandfather, which he had added to his own. 1 
However, there are some who say that Julianus never 
planned to slaughter the senate, because it had passed 
so many decrees in his favour. 

After the senate had passed this decree, Didius 
Julianus forthwith despatched 2 one of the prefects, 
Tullius Crispinus, and he also created a third prefect 3 
in the person of Veturius Macrinus, whom Severus 
had already notified by letter that he was to be 
prefect. Nevertheless, the people avowed and 
Severus suspected that this peace was merely a 
strategem and that Tullius Crispinus, the prefect of 
the guard, was commissioned to murder Severus. 
Finally, in accordance with the general wish of his 
soldiers, Severus declared that he would rather be 
Julianus' enemy than colleague ; he at once, moreover, 
wrote to a great number of men at Rome, and secretly 
sent proclamations, which were posted up. Julianus, 
furthermore, was mad enough to perform a number of 
rites with the aid of magicians, such as were calculated 
either to lessen the hate of the people or to restrain the 
arms of the soldiers. For the magicians sacrificed cer- 
tain victims that are foreign to the Roman ritual 4 and 
chanted unholy songs, while Julianus performed rites, 
which took place, so we are told, before a mirror, into 
which boys are said to gaze, after bandages have been 
bound over their eyes and charms muttered over their 
heads. And in this performance one lad, it is said, saw 
the arrival of Severus and the retirement of Julianus. 

4 According to Dio, Ixxiii. 16, 5, he sacrificed a number of 



VIII. Et Crispinus quidem, cum occurrissetpraecur- 
soribus Severi, lulio Laeto auctore a Severe iiiteremp- 

2 tus est. deiecta sunt etiam consulta senatus. lulianus 
convocato senatu quaesitisque sententiis, quid facto 

3 opus esset, certi nihil comperit a senatu. sed postea 
sponte sua gladiatores Capuae iussit armari per Lollia- 
num Titianum, et Claudium Fompeianum e Tarraci- 
nensi ad participatum evocavit, quod et gener impera- 
toris fuisset et diu militibus praefuisset.- sed hoc ille 
recusavit, senem se et debilem luminibus respondens. 

5 transierant et ex Umbria milites ad Severum. et 
praemiserat quidem litteras Severus, quibus iubebat 
interfectores Pertinacis servari. 

6 Brevi autem desertus est ab omnibus lulianus et 
remansit in Palatio cum uno de praef'ectis suis Geniali 

yet genero Repentino. actum est denique ut luliano 
senatus auctoritate abrogaretur imperium. et abroga- 
tum est, appellatusque statim Severus imperator, cum 
fingeretur quod veiieno se 1 absumpsisset lulianus. 

8 missi tameii a senatu, quorum cura per militem 
gregarium in Palatio idem lulianus occisus est fidem 

9 Caesaris implorans, hoc est Severi. filiam suam 
potitus imperio dato patrimonio emancipaverat. 

1 se P ; om. by Peter. 

1 See c. vii. 4. 

2 He was very old and in poor health. During the reign of 
Pertinax he remained at Rome and attended meetings of the 
senate, but when Pertinax was killed, he withdrew to his 
country estate ; see Dio, Ixxiii. 3. 

3 See c. vi. 4 and note. 

4 Acting on this order the soldiers of the guard seized the 
murderers and informed the consul of the fact ; see Dio, Ixxiii. 
17, 3. 

5 Of. c. hi. 6. 



VIII. And as for Crispinus, 1 he met with Severus' 
advance-guard and was put to death by Severus on 
the advice of Julius Laetus. The decrees of the 
senate, moreover, were torn down, and when Julianus 
called a meeting of the senate and asked their 
opinions as to what should be done, he could get 
nothing definite out of them. Presently, however, 
on his own responsibility he ordered Lollianus 
Titianus to arm the gladiators at Capua, and called 
Claudius Pompeianus from his estate at Tarracina 2 
to share the empire with him, because he had been 
an emperor's son-in-law and had long been in com- 
mand of troops. Claudius, however, refused on the 
ground that he was now old and his eye-sight was 
weak. The soldiers in Umbria had meanwhile 
deserted to Severus, 3 and Severus had sent on letters 
in advance in which he ordered the murderers of 
Pertinax to be kept under guard. 4 

In a short time Julianus was deserted by all and 
left alone in the Palace with one of his prefects, 
Genialis, and with Repentinus, his son-in-law. 5 
Finally, it was propose'd that the imperial power be 
taken away from Julianus by order of the senate. 6 
This was done, and Severus was forthwith acclaimed 
emperor, while it was given out that Julianus had 
taken poison. Nevertheless, the senate despatched 
a delegation and through their efforts Julianus was 
slain in the Palace by a common soldier, while be- 
seeching the protection of Caesar, that is to say, 
Severus. He had emancipated 7 his daughter when he 
got control of the empire and had presented her with 
her patrimony, but this, together with the name 

6 A description of this meeting is given in Dio, Ixxiii. 17, 4. 
See note to Pert., xi. 12. 



quod ei cum Augustae nomine statim sublatum est. 
10 corpus eius a Severo uxori Manliae Scantillae ac filiae 
ad sepulturam est redditum et in proavi monumenta 
translatum miliario quinto Via Labicana. 

IX. Obiecta sane sunt luliano haec : quod gulosus 
fuisset, quod aleator, quod armis gladiatoriis exer- 
citus esset, eaque omnia senex fecerit, cum antea 
numquam adulescens his esset vitiis iiifamatus. obi- 
ecta est etiam superbia, cum ille etiam in imperio 

2 fuisset humillimus. fuit autem contra humanissimus 
ad convivia, benignissimus ad subcriptiones, modera- 
tissimus ad libertatem. 

3 Vixit annis quinquaginta sex mensibus quattuor. 
imperavit mensibus duobus diebus quinque. repre- 
hensum in eo praecipue, quod eos, quos regere 
auctoritate sua debuerat, regenclae rei publicae sibi 
praesules ipse fecisset. 

1 This road ran S.E. from the city, joining the Via Latino, 
at Toleria. It took its name from the town of Labici, on the 
northern slope of the Alban hills. 

2 See c. iii. 9 and note. 

8 Sixty years, according to Dio, Ixxiii. 17, 5 ; this figure is 



Augusta, was at once taken away from her. His 
body was, by order of Sever us, delivered for burial 
to his wife, Manlia Scantilla, and to his daughter, 
and it was laid in the tomb of his great-grandfather 
by the fifth mile-stone on the Labican Way. 1 

IX. These charges were brought against Julianus : 
that he had been a glutton and a gambler ; that he 
had exercised with gladiatorial arms ; and that he had 
done all these things, moreover, when advanced in 
years, and after escaping the stain of these vices in 
his youth. The charge of pride was also brought 
against him, although he had really been very unassum- 
ing as emperor. 2 He was, moreover, very affable at 
banquets, very courteous in the matter of petitions, 
and very reasonable in the matter of granting liberty. 

He lived fifty-six years 3 and four months. He 
ruled two months and five d^iys. 4 This particularly 
was held to his discredit : that men whom he ought 
to have kept under his own governance he appointed 
as his officials for governing the state. 

usually regarded as more correct than that given in the bio- 
graphy; accordingly, he- was born in 133. 

4 Sixty-six days, according to Dio, I.e. Accordingly, he 
was killed on 1st June, 193. 




I. Interfecto Didio luliano Severus Africa oriundus 

2 imperium obtinuit. cui civitas Lepti, pater Geta, 
maiores equites Roman! ante civitatem omnibus 
datam ; mater Fulvia Pia, patrui magni l Aper et 
Severus consulares, avus paternus Macer, maternus 2 

3 Fulvius Pius fuere. ipse natus est Erucio Claro bis et 

4 Severo consul ibus, VI idus Apriles. in prima pueritia, 
priusquam Latinis Graecisque litteris imbueretur, 
quibus eruditissimus fuit, nullum alium inter pueros 
ludum nisi ad iudices exercuit, cum 3 ipse praelatis 
fascibus ac securibus ordine puerorum circumstante 4 

5 sederet ac iudicaret. octavo decimo anno publice 
declamavit. 5 postea studiorum causa Romam venit, 

J magni Aper Madvig, Peter" 3 ; magnaper P ; Marcus Aper 
Peter 1 . 2 So Casaubon ; maternus Macer patemus P, Peter. 
3 eumP l . 4 circumstantes P 1 . ^adclamauit P. 

1 His full name was P. Septimius Geta, according to an 
inscription found at Cirta in Africa; see C.I.L., viii. 19493. 

2 Citizenship was granted to all the free inhabitants of the 
Empire, except the Dediticii and the Latini Tuniani, by an 
edict of Caracalla, Severus' son, in 212. 

3 Aper was consul in some year under Pius; Severus ia 
perhaps to be identified with the Severus who was consul in 



. BY 


I. ON the murder of Didius Juliaiius, Severus, a native 
of Africa, took possession of the empire. His native 
city was Leptis, his father was Geta ; l his ancestors 
were Roman knights before citizenship was made 
universal. 2 Fulvia Pia was his mother, Aper and 
Severus, both of consular rank, 3 his great-uncles. 
His father's father was Macer, his mother's father 
Fulvius Pius. He himself was born six days be fore 8 Apr., 
the Ides of April, 4 in the first consulship of Severus 146 
and the second of Erucius Clarus. While still a child, 
even before he had been drilled in the Latin and 
Greek literatures (with which he was very well 
acquainted), he would engage in no game with the 
other children except playing judge, and on such 
occasions he would have the rods and axes borne 
before him, and, surrounded by the throng of children, 
he would take his seat and thus give judgments. 
In his eighteenth year he delivered an oration in 
public. Soon after, in order to continue his studies, 
he came to Rome ; and with the support of his kins- 

4 His birthday was the llth April, according to Dio, Ixxvi. 
17,4, and this date is confirmed by the Calendar of Philocalus 
(see C.I.L., i 2 , p. 262) and by inscriptions set up on this day ; 
see C.I.L., xi. 1322 ; adv. 168 and 169. 



latum clavum a divo Marco petiit et accepit, favente 
sibi Septimio Severe adfini suo, bis iam consular!. 

6 Cum Romam venisset, hospitera nanctus qui 
Hadriani vitam imperatoriam eadera hora legeret, 

7 quod sibi omen futurae felicitatis arripuit. habuit 
et aliud omen imperii : cum rogatus ad cenam im- 
peratoriam palliatus venisset, qui togatus venire 
debuerat, togam praesidiariam ipsius imperatoris ac- 

8 cepit. eadem nocte somniavit lupae se uberibus ut 

9 Remum inhaerere vel Romulum. sedit et in sella 
imperatoria temere a ministro posita, ignarus quod 

10 non liceret. dormienti etiam in stabulo serpens 
caput cinxit et sine noxa expergefactis et adclamanti- 
bus familiaribus, abiit. 1 

II. luventam plenam furorum, nonnumquam et cri- 

2 minum habuit. adulterii causam dixit absolutusque 
est a luliano proconsule, cui et in proconsulatu suc- 
cessit et in consulatu collega fuit et in imperio item 

3successit. quaesturam diligenter egit omisso tribu- 
natu 2 militari. post quaesturam sorte Baeticam ac- 
cepit ftque inde Africam petiit, ut mortuo patre rem 

4 domesticam componeret. sed dum in Africa est, 

1 habuit P. 2 omisso tribunatu Hirschfeld, Golisch, 

Peter 2 ; omnis sortibus natu P. 

1 See note to Cow., iv. 7. 2 See Hadr., xxii. 2. 

8 It ia impossible to know who is meant here. The bio- 
grapher is certainly wrong in identifying him with Didius 
Julianus, who was proconsul of Africa after Pertinax and 
shortly before his own elevation to the throne; see Did. Jul., 
ii. 3. 



man Septimius Severus, who had already been con- 
sul twice, he sought and secured from the Deified 
Marcus the broad stripe. 1 

Soon after he had come to Rome he fell in with 
a stranger who at that very moment was reading the 
life of the Emperor Hadrian, and he snatched at this 
incident as an omen of future prosperity. He had 
still another omen of empire : for once, when he 
was invited to an imperial banquet and came wearing 
a cloak, when he should have worn his toga,^ he was 
lent an official toga of the emperor's own. And that 
same night he dreamed that he tugged at the udders 
of a wolf, like Remus and Romulus. He sat down, 
furthermore, in the emperor s chair, which a servant 
had carelessly left accessible, being quite unaware 
that this was not allowed. And once, while he was 
sleeping in a tavern, a snake coiled about his head, 
and when his friends awoke from their sleep and 
shouted at it, it departed without doing him any harm. 

II. His early manhood was filled with follies and 
not free from crime. He was charged with adultery, 
but pleaded his own case and was acquitted by the 
proconsul Julian us, 3 the man who was his immediate 
predecessor in the proconsulship, his colleague in the 
consulship, and likewise his predecessor on the 
throne. Omitting the office of tribune of the soldiers, 
he became quaestor and performed his duties with 
diligence. At the expiration of his quaestorship he 
was allotted the province of Baetica, 4 and from here 
he crossed over to Africa in order to settle his 

4 He was quaestor in Rome and was then allotted to serve as 
quaestor (properly proquaestor) of the senatorial province of 
Hispania Baetica. Such double quaestorships appear fre- 
quently in inscriptions. 



pro Baetica Sardinia ei attributa est, quod Baeticara 

5 Mauri populabantur. acta igitur quaestura Sardini- 

6 ensi legationem proconsulis Africae accepit. in qua 
legatione cum eum quidam municipum suorum Lepti- 
tanus l praecedentibus fascibus ut antiquum contu- 
bernalem ipse plebeius amplexus esset, fustibus eum 
sub eiusmodi elogio 2 praeconis cecidit : " Legatum 
populi Romani homo plebeius temere amplecti noli ". 

Tex quo factum ut in vehiculo etiam legati sederent, 

8qui ante pedibus ambulabant. tune in quadam 
civitate Africana, cum sollicitus mathematicum con- 
suluisset, positaque hora ingentia vidisset astrologus, 
dixit ei : " Tuam non alienam pone genituram ". 

9 cumque Severus iurasset suam esse, omnia ei dixit 
quae postea facta sunt. 

III. Tribunatum plebis Marco imperatore decern- 
ente promeruit eumque severissime exsertissimeque 

Segit. uxorem tune Marciam duxit, de qua tacuit in 
historia vitae privatae. cui postea in imperio statuas 

Sconlocavit. praetor designatus a Marco est non in 

J bracketed by Peter 3 . 2 eiusmodi elogi) Hirschfeld; 

elogio eiusdem P, Peter. 

1 See Marc., xxi. 1. The year was about 172, since Severus 
was quaestor probably about the normal age of twenty-five; 
see note to Pius., vi. 10. The invasion of the Moors seems to 
have made it necessary to administer Baetica as an imperial 
province, and Sardinia was accordingly temporarily assigned 
to the senate as a substitute. 

2 Her name was Paccia Marciana, according to an inscrip- 
tion from Africa ; see C.I.L., viii. 19494 = Dessau, Ins. SeL, 

*i.e. his autobiography, written after the death of Albinus, 



domestic affairs, for his father had meanwhile died. 
But while he was in Africa, Sardinia was assigned him 
in place of Baetica, because the latter was being 
ravaged by the Moors. 1 He therefore served his 
quaestorship in Sardinia, and afterwards was appointed 
aide to the proconsul of Africa. While he was in this 
office, a certain fellow-townsman of his, a plebeian, 
embraced him as an old comrade, though the fasces 
were being carried before him ; whereupon he had 
the fellow beaten with clubs and then ordered a pro- 
clamation to be made by the herald to this effect : 
"Let no plebeian embrace without due cause a legate 
of the Roman people ". On account of this incident, 
legates, who had previously gone on foot, thereafter 
rode in carriages. About this time, also, being 
worried about the future, he had recourse to an 
astrologer in a certain city of Africa. The astrologer, 
when he had cast the horoscope, saw high destinies in 
store for him, but added : " Tell me your own 
nativity and not that of another man". And when 
Severus swore an oath that it was really his, the 
astrologer revealed ' to him all the things that did 
later come to pass. 

III. He was promoted to be tribune of the plebs by 
order of the Emperor Marcus, and he performed his 
duties with austerity and vigour. It was then that 
he married Marcia, 2 but of her he made no mention 
in the history of his life as a private man. 3 After- 
wards, however, while emperor, he erected statues in 
her honour. In the thirty-second year of his life 178 
Marcus appointed him praetor, although he was not 

apparently with the purpose of accusing his rivals and clear- 
ing himself of charges of cruelty; see c. xviii. 6; Cl. Alb., 
vii. 1 ; Dio, Ixxv. 7, 3. 



Candida sed in oompetitorum grege anno aetatis 

4 xxxii. tune ad Hispaniam missus somniavit primo 
sibi dici, ut teraplum Tarraconense Augusti, quod 

5 iam labebatur, 1 restitueret. dein ex altissimi montis 
vertice orbem terrarum Romamque despexit, con- 
cinentibusprovinciis lyra voce vel tibia, ludosabsens 

Sedidit. legioni mi Scythicae dein praepositus est 

7 circa Massiliam. post hoc Athenas petiit studiorum 
sacrorumque causa et operum ac vetustatum. ubi 
cum iniurias quasdam ab Atheniensibus pertulisset, 
inimicus his factus minuendo eorum privilegia iam 

8 imperator se ultus est. dein Lugdunensem provin- 

9 ciam legatus accepit. cum amissa uxore aliam vellet 
ducere, genituras sponsarum requirebat, ipse quoque 
matheseos peritissimus, et cum audisset esse in Syria 
quandam quae id geniturae haberet ut regi iungere- 
tur, eandem uxorem petiit, luliam scilicet, et accepit 
interventu amicorum. ex qua statim pater factus 

IV. est. a Gallis ob severitatem et hoiiorificentiam et 
abstinentiam tantum quantum nemo dilectus est. 

1 leuabatur P. 

1 A certain number of each board of magistrates were not 
chosen by the senate but nominated directly by the emperor. 
These appointees were calkd technically candidati Caesar is, 
and the phrase in Candida (toga) seems to be only a variation 
of this expression. 

2 See Hadr., xii. 3 and note. 

3 In the time of the empire the conduct of the public games 
was one of the most important functions of the praetor. 

4 There is some error here, for this legion was never 
quartered at Marseilles, and from the middle of the first 
century on it was stationed in Syria. 



one of the Emperor's candidates but only one of the 
ordinary crowd of competitors. 1 He was thereupon 
sent to Spain, and here he had a dream, first that he 
was told to repair the temple of Augustus at Tarraco, 2 
which at that time was falling into ruin, and then 
that from the top of a very high mountain he beheld 
Rome and all the world, while the provinces sang 
together to the accompaniment of the lyre and 
flute. Though absent from the city, he gave games. 3 
Presently he was put in command of the Fourth 
Legion, the Scythica, stationed near Massilia, 4 and 
after that he proceeded to Athens partly in order 
to continue his studies and perform certain sacred 
rites, and partly on account of the public buildings 
and ancient monuments there. Here he suffered 
certain wrongs at the hands of the Athenians ; and 
on that account he became their foe, and afterwards, 
as emperor, took vengeance on them by curtailing 
their rights. After this he was appointed to the 
province of Lugdunensis as legate. He had mean- 
while lost his wife, and now, wishing to take another, 
he made inquiries about the horoscopes of marriage- 
able women, being himself no mean astrologer ; and 
when he learned that there was a woman in Syria 
whose horoscope predicted that she would wed a king 
(I mean Julia, 5 of course), he sought her for his wife, 
and through the mediation of his friends secured her. 
By her, presently, he became a father. 6 IV. And 
because he was strict, honourable and self-restrained, 
he was beloved by the Gauls as was no one else. 

5 Julia Domna, the elder daughter of Julius Bassianus, 
high-priest of the god Elagabalus at Emesa in Syria. 

6 His elder son Bassianus (Caracalla) was born at Lyons on 
the 4th April, 186. 



Dein Pannonias proconsular! imperio rexit. post 
hoc Siciliam proconsularem sorte meruit. suscepitque 

3 Romae alterum filium. in Sicilia, quasi de imperio 
vel vates vel Chaldaeos consul uisset, reus factus, sed l 
a praefectis praetorii, quibus audiendus datus fuerat, 
iam Commodo in odio veniente, absolutus est calum- 

4niatore in crucera acto. consulatum cum Apuleio 
Rufino primum egit, Commodo se inter plurimos 
designante. post consulatum anno ferme fuit otio- 
sus ; dein Laeto suffragante exercitui Germanico 2 

5 praeponitur. proficiscens ad Germanicos exercitus 
hortos spatiosos comparavit, cum antea aedes brevis- 
simas Romae habuisset et unum fundum in Venetia. 

6 et ium c in his hortis cum humi iacens epularetur 
cum filiis parca cena, pomaque adposita maior filius, 
qui tune quinquennis erat, conlusoribus puerulis manu 
largiore divideret, paterque ilium reprehendens dixis- 
set, " Parcius divide, non enim regias opes possides/' 
quinquennis puer respondit, "Sed possidebo " inquit. 

7 in Germaniam profectus ita se in ea legatione egit, 
ut famam nobilitatam 4 iam ante cumularet. 

1 sed Peter ; et P. 2 Germanico Baehrens, Peter 2 ; G&r- 

mano P, Peter 1 . s in Venetia Salmasius; et iam Editor; 

inuenit etiam P; in uicinia Peter. *nobilitatem P. 

1 This item is out of its proper order. He was not 
appointed to Pannonia until after his consulship ; see 4. 

2 Geta, born in 189, the year, as it seems, of Severus' 
consulship ; see Get., iii. 1. 

3 Under the regime of Oleander ; see Com., vi. 7 f. ; vii. 1. 



Next he ruled the Paniionias l with proconsular 
powers, and after this he drew in the allotment the 
proconsular province of Sicily. At Rome, mean- 
while, he was presented with a second son.- While 
he was in Sicily he was indicted for consulting 
about the imperial dignity with seers and astrologers, 
but, because Commodus was now beginning to be 
detested, 3 he was acquitted by the prefects of the 
guard to whom he had been handed over for trial, 
while his accuser was crucified. He now served his 
first consulship, having Apuleius Rufinus 4 for his ? 189 
colleague an office to which Commodus appointed 
him from among a large number of aspirants. After 
the consulship he spent about a year free from public 
duties ; then, on the recommendation of Laetus, he 
was put in charge of the army in Germany. 5 Just as 
he was setting out for Germany, he acquired elabo- 
rate gardens, although he had previously kept only 
an unpretentious dwelling in the city and a single 
farm in Venetia. And now, when he was reclining 
on the ground in these gardens, partaking of a frugal 
supper with his children, his elder son, who was then 
five years old, divided the fruit, when it was served, 
with rather a bounteous hand among his young play- 
mates. And when his father reproved him, saying : 
" Be more sparing ; for you have not the riches of 
a king," the five-year-old child replied : " No, but I 
shall have ". On coming to Germany, Severus con- 
ducted himself in this office in such a manner as to 
increase a reputation which was already illustrious. 

4 His name is given as Vitellius in Get., iii. 1. 

5 An error for Pannonia (cf. 2), for he was acclaimed 
emperor at Carnuntum (see c. v. 1); see al^o Dio, Ixiii. 14, 8 
and Herodian, ii. 9, 2. 



V. Et hactenus rem militarem privatus egit. dehinc 
a Germanicis legionibus, ubi auditum est Commodum 
occisum, lulianum autem cum odio cunctorum im- 
perare, multis hortantibus repugnans imperator est 

2appellatus apud Carnuntum idibus Augustis. qui 
etiam sestertia, quot l nemo umquam principum, 

3militibus dedit. dein firmatis quas post tergum 
relinquebat provinciis Romam iter 2 contendit, ceden- 
tibus sibi cunctis, quacumque iter fecit, cum iam 
Illyriciani exercitus et Gallicani 3 cogentibus ducibus 

4 in eius verba iurassent. excipiebatur enim ab omni- 

5 bus quasi ultor Pertinacis. per idem tempus auctore 
luliano Septimius Severus a senatu hostis est appel- 
latus, legatis ad exercitum senatus verbis missis, qui 
iuberent ut ab eo milites senatu praecipiente dis- 

6 cederent. et Severus quidem cum audisset senatus 
consentientis auctoritate missos legatos, primo per- 
timuit, postea id egit corruptis legatis, ut apud 
exercitum pro se loquerentur transirentque in eius 

7partes. his compertis lulianus senatus consultum 4 

8 fieri fecit de participando imperio cum Severe, in- 

certum vere id an dolo fecerit, cum iam ante misis- 

set 5 notos ducum interfectores quosdam, qui Severum 

l quot Riihl; quod P, Peter. z iter Peter; item P. 

3 gallicanis P. 4 consulatum P 1 . 6 misisscnt P. 

1 Cf. Did. Jul. t iv. 2 f. 

2 An error, for Didius Julianus was killed on the 1st June (see 
note to Did. Jul., ix. 3), and Severus was then not far from 
Rome. The date was probably the Ides of April. 

3 i.e. each legionary. 

4 Used inexactly to denote the armies of the Danube and 
the Rhine. His coins of 193 show the names of fifteen 
different legions belonging to these armies (see Cohen iv 2 , 
p. 31 f., nos. 255-278). To these is to be added the Tenth 



V. So far did he pursue his military career as a 
subject. Now, when it was learned that Commodus 
had been slain and that Julianus was holding the 
throne amid general hatred, 1 at the behest of many, 
but against his own will, he was hailed emperor by 
the German legions ; this took place at Carnuntum 
on the Ides of August. 2 A thousand sesterces a 13 Aug., 
sum which no prince had ever given before were 193 
presented to each soldier. 3 And then, after garrison- 
ing the provinces which he was leaving in his rear, 
he hastened his march on Rome. Wherever his path 
lay, all yielded to him, and the legions in Illyricum 
and Gaul 4 had already, under compulsion from their 
generals, espoused his cause, for he was universally 
regarded as the avenger of Pertinax. Meanwhile, at 
Julianus' instigation, the senate declared him a public 
enemy, 5 and legates were sent to his army with a 
message from the senate ordering his soldiers in the 
name of the senate to desert him. 6 And in truth, 
when Severus heard that legates had been sent 
by unanimous order of the senate, he was at first 
terrified ; afterwards, however, he managed to bribe 
the legates to address the army in his favour and then 
to desert to his side themselves. 7 When Julianus 
learned of this, he caused the senate to pass a decree 
that Severus and he should share the throne. 8 
Whether this was done in good faith or treacherously 
is not clear ; for already, ere this, Julianus had sent 
certain fellows, notorious assassins of generals, to 
murder Severus, and indeed he had sent men 

Legion, the Gemina, stationed in Pannonia Superior, of 
which, as it happens, no coin has been preserved. 

5 Of. Did. Jul., v. 3. 6 Cf. Did. JuL, v. 5. 

7 Of. Did. Jul, vi. 3. 8 Of. Did. Jul., vi. 9. 

9 Of. Did. Jul, v. 8 ; Pesc. Nig., ii. 6. 



occiderent, ita ut ad Pescennium Nigrum intern" cien- 
dum miserat, qui et ipse imperium contra eum 
9 susceperat auctoribus Syriacis exercitibus. verum 
Severus evitatis eorum manibus quos ad se interficien- 
dum lulianus miserat, missis ad praetorianos litteris 
signum vel deserendi vel occidendi luliani dedit 

10 statimque auditus est. nam et lulianus occisus est 

11 in Palatio, et Severus Romam invitatus. ita, quod 
nulli umquam contigit, nutu tantum Severus victor 
est factus armatusque Romam contendit. 

VI. Occiso luliano cum Severus in castris et tentoriis 

quasi per hosticum veniens adhuc maneret, centum 

senatores legates ad eum senatus misit ad gratulan- 

2dum rogandumque. qui ei occurrerunt Interamnae 

armatumque circumstantibus armatis salutarunt, ex- 

3 cussi ne quid ferri haberent. et postera die occur- 

4 rente omni famulicio aulico, septingenos l vicenos 
aureos legatis dedit eosdemque praemisit, facta 
potestate si qui vellent remanere ac secum Romam 

5 redire. fecit etiam statim praefectum praetorii 
Flavium luvenalem, quern etiam lulianus tertium 
praefectum sibi adsumpserat. 

1 septingenos Hirschfeld ; septuagenos P, Peter. 

1 CL Did. Jul, v. 1 ; Peso. Nig., ii. 4. 

2 Cf. Pesc. Nig. ii. 1. y Cf. Did. Jul., viii. 5 f. 

4 Hirschfeld points out that through the use of base metal 
the denarius had so depreciated that 25,000 den. (100,000 
sesterces) was now equal to only 720 aurei instead of luOO. 
Accordingly, the sum that was presented to each of the 



to murder Pescennius Niger as well, 1 who, at the 
instigation of the armies in Syria, 2 had also declared 
himself emperor in opposition to Julianus. How- 
ever, Severus escaped the clutches of the men whom 
Julianus had sent to kill him and despatched a letter 
to the guard instructing them either to desert 
Julianus or to kill him ; and his order was im- 
mediately obeyed. 3 For not only was Julianus slain 
in the Palace, but Severus was invited to Rome. 
And so, by the mere nod of his head, Severus became 
the victor a thing that had befallen no man ever 
before and still under arms hastened towards Rome. 
VI. After the murder of Julianus Severus still re- 
mained encamped and in his tents as though he were 
advancing through a hostile territory ; the senate, 
therefore, sent a delegation of a hundred senators to 
bear him congratulations and sue for pardon. 'And 
when these met him at Interamna, they were searched 
for concealed weapons and only then suffered to greet 
him as he stood armed and in the midst of armed 
men. But on the following day, after all the palace 
attendants had arrived, he presented each member of 
the delegation with seven hundred and twenty pieces 
of gold, 4 and sent them on ahead, granting to such as 
desired, however, the privilege of remaining and re- 
turning to Rome with himself. Without further de- 
lay, he appointed as prefect of the guard that Flavius 
Juvenalis whom Julianus had chosen for his third 
prefect. 5 

legates was the equivalent of 100,000 sesterces reckoned ac- 
cording to the later standard. See von Domaszewski in Rhein. 
Mus., liv. (1899), p. 312. 

6 Probably on the death of Tullius Crispinus ; see Did. Jul., 
viii. 1. 



6 Interim Romae ingens trepidatio militum civium- 
que, quod armatus contra eos Severus veniret, qui 

7 se hostem iudicassent. his accessit quod comperit 
PescenniumNigrum a Syriacis legionibus imperatorem 

8 appellatum. cuius edicta et litteras ad populum vel 
senatum intercepit per eos qui missi fuerant, ne vel 

9 propone rentur populo vel legerentur in curia, eodera 
tempore etiam de Clodio Albino sibi substituendo 
cogitavit, cui Caesareanum decretum auctore Com- 

10 modo iam 1 videbatur imperium. sed eos ipsos per- 
timescens de 2 quibus recte iudicabat, 3 Heraclitum ad 
obtinendas Britannias, Plautianum ad occupandos 

11 Nigri liberos misit. cum Romam Severus venisset, 
praetorianos cum subarmalibus inermes sibi iussit 
occurrere. eosdem sic ad tribunal vocavit armatis 
undique circumdatis. 

VII. Ingressus deinde Romam armatus cum armatis 

militibus Capitolium ascendit. inde in 4 Palatium 

eodem habitu perrexit, praelatis signis quae praeto- 

2rianis ademerat supinis non erectis. tota deinde urbe 

1 auctore Commodo iam nomen Oberdick ; nomen om. by 

Editor ; aut Commodianum P. 3 so Peter 1 ; pertimescende 

P ; pertimescendo P corr., Peter 2 . *iudicabat P, Peter 1 ; 
inuidebat Peter 2 . 4 om. in P. 

J Cf. Cl. Alb., ii. 1; vi. 4-5; xiii. 4. This is doubtless a 

2 Or Bithynia, according to Peso. Nig., v. 2, but the reading 
Britannias is probably the correct one. About this time 
Severus, in order to attach Albinus to his cause, offered him 
the name Caesar (see note to Cl. Alb., i. 2), and Heraclitus 
may have been sent for this purpose. 

3 Of. Pesc. Nig., v. 2. On C. Fulvius Plautianus see c. liv. 

4 He then reproached them for their treachery to Pertinax, 



Meanwhile at Rome a mighty panic seized both 
soldiers and civilians, for they realized that Severus 
was advancing under arms and against those who had 
declared him a public enemy. The excitement was 
further increased when Severus learned that Pescen- 
nius Niger had been hailed emperor by the legions 
in Syria. However, the proclamations and letters 
that Pescennius sent to the people and senate were, 
with the connivance of the messengers who had been 
sent with them, intercepted by Severus, for he wished 
to prevent their being published among the people or 
read in the senate-house. At the same time, too, he 
considered abdicating in favour of Clodius Albinus, 
to whom, it appeared, the power of a Caesar l had 
already been decreed at the instance of Commodus. 
But instead, he sent Heraclitus to secure Britain 2 
and Plautianus to seize Niger's children, 3 in fear of 
these men and having formed a correct opinion about 
them. And when he arrived at Rome, he ordered the 
guard to meet him clad only in their undergarments 
and without arms ; then, with armed men posted all 
about him, he summoned them, thus apparelled, to the 
tribunal. 4 

VI I. Severus, armed himself and attended by armed 
men, entered the city and went up to the Capitol ; 5 
thence he proceeded, still fully armed, to the Palace, 
having the standards, which he had taken from the 
praetorians, borne before him not raised erect but trail- 
ing on the ground. And then throughout the whole 

disarmed and disbanded them, and banished them from the 
city ; see -Die, Ixxiv. 1, 1 and Herodian, ii. 13, 4 f. This took 
place just outside the walls. 

5 A vivid description of his triumphal entry is given in Dio, 
Ixxiv. 1, 3-5. 



milites in templis, in porticibus, in aedibus Palatinis, 

3 quasi in stabulis manserunt, fuitque ingressus Severi 
odiosus atque terribilis, cum milites inempta diripe- 

4 rent, vastationem urbi minantes. alia die arrnatis 
stipatus non solum militibus sed etiam amicis in 
senatum venit. in curia reddidit rationem suscepti 
imperil causatusque est, quod ad se occidendum 

Slulianus notos ducum caedibus misisset. fieri etiam 
senatus consultum coegit, ne liceret imperatori in- 

Sconsulto senatu occidere senatorem. sed cum in 
senatu esset, milites per seditionem dena milia 
poposcerunt a senatu, exemplo eorum qui Augustum 
Octavianum Romam deduxerant tantumque accepe- 

7 rant, et cum eos voluisset comprimere Severus nee 
potuisset, tamen mitigates addita liberalitate dimisit. 

8 funus deinde censorium Pertinacis imagini duxit 
eumque inter divos sacravit, addito flamine et soda- 

9 libus Helvianis, qui Marciani fuerant. se quoque 

1 Of. c. v. 8 ; Did. Jul., v. 8 ; Peso. Nig., ii. 5. 

2 So also Dio, Ixxiv. 2, 1 and Herodian, ii. 14, 3-4. Dio ob- 
serves that Severus violated this decree almost at once. 

3 See Dio, xlvi. 46. 

4 He gave to each one thousand sesterces ; see Dio, ibid. 

5 This funeral is described in detail in Dio, Ixxiv. 4-5. 

6 A survival of the republican period, when the senate fre- 
quently honoured a dead ex-magistrate by decreeing that he 
might be buried in his robe of office. Of these robes the 
purple toga of the censor was considered the highest, and a 
funus censorium was, accordingly, the most honourable type 
of public funeral. It was later accorded by vote of the senate 
to emperors, e.g. to Augustus (Tacitus, Annals. , xii. 69) and to 
Claudius (id., xiii. 2). 

7 See note to Marc., xv. 4 ; see also Pert., xv. 3-4. 



city, in temples, in porticoes, and in the dwellings on 
the Palatine, the soldiers took up their quarters as 
though in barracks ; and Severus' entry inspired both 
hate and fear, for the soldiers seized goods they did 
not pay for and threatened to lay the city waste. On 
the next day, accompanied not only by armed soldiers 
but also by a body of armed friends, Severus appeared 
before the senate, and there, in the senate-house, 
gave his reasons for assuming the imperial power, 
alleging in defence thereof that men notorious for 
assassinating generals had been sent by Julianus to 
murder him. 1 He secured also the passage of a 
senatorial decree to the effect that the emperor should 
not be permitted to put any senator to death without 
first consulting the senate. 2 But while he was still 
in the senate-house, his soldiers, with threats of 
mutiny, demanded of the senate ten thousand ses- 
terces each, citing the precedent of those who had 
conducted Augustus Octavian to Rome and received a 
similar sum. 3 And although Severus himself desired 
to repress them, he found himself unable ; eventually, 
however, by giving them a bounty he managed to ap- 
pease them and then sent them away. 4 Thereupon 
he held for an effigy of Pertinax 5 a funeral such as is 
given a censor, 6 elevated him to a place among the 
deified emperors and gave him, besides, a flamen 
and a Helvian Brotherhood, composed of the priests 
who had previously constituted the Marciaii Brother- 
hood. 7 Moreover, he himself was, at his own com- 
mand, given the name Pertinax ; 8 although later he 

8 According to Herodian, ii. 10, 1, he assumed this name be- 
fore he left Pannonia. It appears in his inscriptions and on 
his coins, especially those issued during the first part of his 



Pertinacem vocari iussit, quamvis postea id nomen 
aboleri voluerit quasi l omen. 

VIII. Amicorum dehinc aes alienum 2 dissolvit. 
filias suas dotatas maritis Probo et Aetio dedit. et 
cum Probo genero suo praefecturam urbi obtulisset, 
ille recusavit dixitque minus sibi videri praefectum 

2 esse quam principis generum. utrumque autem gen- 

3 erum statim consulem fecit, utrumque ditavit. alia 
die ad senatum venit et amicos luliani incusatos pro- 

4scriptioni ac neci dedit. causas plurimas audivit. 
accusatos a provincialibus iudices probatis rebus 

Sgraviter punivit. rei frumentariae, quam minimam 
reppererat, ita consul uit, ut excedens vita septem 
annorum canonem populo Romano relinqueret. 

6 Ad orientis statum confirmandum profectus est, 

7nihil adhuc de Nigro palam dicens. ad Africam 
tamen legiones misit, ne per Libyam atque Aegyptum 
Niger Africam occuparet ac populo Romano penuria 

8 rei frumentariae perurgueret. Domitium Dextrum 
in locum Bassi praefectum 3 urbi reliquit atque intra 
triginta dies quam Romam venerat est profectus. 

9 egress us ab urbe ad Saxa Rubra seditionem ingentem 
ob locum castrorum metandorum ab exercitu passus 

10 est. occurrit ei et statim Geta frater suus, quern 

1 quae P. 2 alienos P. 3 praefectum Mommsen ; 

praefecti P. 

J Cf. Pesc. Nig., v. 4 f. 

2 Before setting out he gave largess; see the coins of 193 
with the legend Liberalitas Aug(usti) ; Cohen, iv 2 , p. 32 f., 
nos. 279-287. 

3 On the Via Flaminia, about ten miles north of Rome. 

4 P. Septimius Geta. His province was probably Dacia, of 
which he was governor in 195; see C.I.L., iii. 905. 



wished it withdrawn, for fear that it would prove an 

VIII. Next he freed his friends from debt. He 


then settled dowries on his daughters and gave them 
in marriage to Probus and Aetius. As for his son- 
in-law Probus, when he offered to make him prefect 
of the city, Probus declined, averring that it meant 
less to him to be prefect of the city than son-in-law 
to the emperor. However, he immediately appointed 
each of them consul and made each rich. Soon there-? 193 
after he appeared before the senate, and bringing in 
accusations against the friends of Julianus, caused 
them to be outlawed and put to death. He heard a 
vast number of lawsuits, and magistrates who had been 
accused by the provincials he punished severely 
whenever the accusations against them were proved ; 
and finding the grain-supply at a very low ebb, he 
managed it so well that on departing this life he left 
the Roman people a surplus to the amount of seven 
years' tribute. 

And now he set out to remedy the situation in the July, 193 
East, still making no public mention of Niger. None 
the less, however, he sent troops to Africa, for fear 
that Niger might advance through Libya and Egypt 
and seize this province, and thereby distress the 
Roman people with a scarcity of grain. 1 Then, 
leaving Domitius Dexter as prefect of the city in 
place of Bassus, within thirty days of his coming to 
Rome he set out again ; 2 and he had proceeded from 
the city no farther than Saxa Rubra 3 when he had to 
face a great mutiny in his army, which arose on ac- 
count of the place selected for pitching camp. Then 
his brother Geta 4 came at once to meet him, but 
merely received orders to rule the province already 



provinciam sibi creditam regere praecepit 1 aliud 

11 sperantem. Nigri liberos ad se adductos in eo habuit 

12 honore quo suos. miserat sane legionem, quae 
Graeciam Thraciamque praeciperet, ne eas Pescennius 

13 occuparet. sed iam Byzantium Niger tenebat. Per- 
inthum etiam Niger volens occupare plurimos de 
exercitu interfecit atque ideo hostis cum Aemiliaiio 

14 est appellatus. cumque Severum ad participatum 

15 vocaret, contemptus est. promisit sane Nigro tutum 
exsilium, si vellet, Aemiliano autem non ignovit. 

16 Aemilianus dehinc victus in Hellesponto a Severi 
ducibus Cyzicum primum confugit atque inde in 
aliam civitatem, in qua eorum iussu occisus est. 

17 fusae sunt item copiae ab iisdem ducibus etiam Nigri. 
IX. his auditis ad senatum Severus quasi confectis rebus 

litteras misit. dein conflixit cum Nigro eumque apud 
Cyzicum interemit caputque eius pilo circumtulit. 

2filios Nigri post hoc, quos suorum liberorum cultu 
habuerat, in exsilium cum matre misit. 

3 Litteras ad senatum de victoria dedit. neque 

1 accepit P. 

1 See c. vi. 10 and ix. 2. 

2 Asellius Aemilianus, the proconsul of Asia and commander 
of Niger's army. 

3 See Peso. Nig., v. 6-7. 

4 This was after the defeat at Perinthus ( 16) ; see Pesc. 
Nig., v. 8. 

5 Probably at Perinthus on the Propontis. 
"Near Nicaea in Bithynia ; see Dio, Ixxiv. 6, 5 f. 

7 This is an error, repeated in Pesc. Nig., v. 8. Niger was 
finally defeated near Issus in Cilicia ; see Dio, Ixxiv. 7 and 
Herodian, iii. 4, 2 f. The date has recently been determined 



in his charge, though Geta had other hopes. Niger's 
children, who were brought to him, he treated with 
the same care that he showed his own. 1 Previous to 
this, he had sent a legion to occupy Greece and 
Thrace, and thereby prevent Niger from seizing 
them. But Niger already held Byzantium, and now 
wishing to seize Perinthus too, he slew a great number 
of this force and accordingly, together with Aemili- 
anus, 2 was declared an enemy to the state. 3 He 
next proposed joint rule with Severus ; this was re- 
jected with scorn. As a matter of fact, Severus did 
promise him an unmolested exile if he wished it, 4 
but refused to pardon Aemilianus. Soon there- 
after Aemilianus was defeated by Severus' generals 
at the Hellespont 5 and fled first to Cyzicus and 
from there to another city, and here he was put 
to death by order of Severus' generals. Niger's own 
forces, moreover, were routed by the same generals. 6 
IX. On receipt of this news Severus despatched 
letters to the senate as if the whole affair were 
finished. And not long afterwards he met with 
Niger near Cyzicus, 7 slew him, and paraded his head 
on a pike. Niger's children, whom he had main- 
tained in the same state as his own, 8 he sent into 
exile after this event, together with their mother. 

He sent a letter to the senate announcing the 
victory, 9 but he inflicted no punishment upon any of 

as the close of 193. Niger fled but was overtaken by some of 
Severus' soldiers between Antioch and the Euphrates and be- 
headed ; see Dio, Ixxiv. 8, 3. 

8 See c. viii. 11. They were afterwards put to death ; see 
c. x. 1 and Peso. Nig., vi. 1-2. 

9 He was acclaimed Imperator for the third time ; see the 
coins of 194 with the legends Mars Pacator and Paci Augusti, 
Cohen, iv 2 , p. 35, no. 308, and p. 40, no. 359. 



quemquam senatorum qui Nigri partium fuerant 

4praeter unum supplicio adfecit. Antiochensibus ira- 

tior fuit, quod et administrantem se in oriente l 

5 riserant et Nigrum etiam victu 2 iuverant. denique 
multa his ademit. Neapolitanis etiam Palaestinensi- 
bus ius civitatis tulit, quod pro Nigro diu in armis 

6 fuerunt. in multos saeve 3 animadvertit, praeter or- 
7dinem senatorium, qui Nigrum fuerant secuti. mul- 

tas etiam civitates eiusdem partis iniuriis adfecit et 
Sdamnis. eos senatores occidit qui cum Nigro mili- 

taverant ducum vel tribunorum nomine. 
9 Delude circa Arabiam plura gessit, Parthis etiam 
in dicionem redactis nee non etiam Adiabenis, qui 
lOquidem omnes cum Pescennio senserant. atque ob 
hoc reversus triumpho delato appellatus est Arabicus 
11 Adiabenicus Parthicus. sed triumphum respuit, ne 
videretur de civili triumphare victoria, excusavit et 
Parthicum nomen, ne Parthos lacesseret. 

X. Redeunti sane Romam post bellum civile Nigri 

l orientem P, Peter. *uicturn Peter 2 with P. *saetie 

Peter; se P. 

1 See c. vii. 5. This statement is confirmed by Dio ; see 
Ixxiv. 8, 4. 

2 Niger's head appears on a coin of Colonia Aelia Capitolina 
(Jerusalem) ; see Cohen, in', p. 413, no. 82. 

3 Notably Byzantium, which his army captured after a long 
siege ; see Dio, Ixxiv. 14, 3. 

4 The campaign actually took place in northern Meso- 
potamia, in the neighbourhood of Nisibis, which had been 
invaded by the surrounding tribes. Most of the fighting 
seems to have been done under the command of the legates, 
Laetus, Anulinus, and Probus, who crossed the Tigris and in- 
vaded Adiabene ; see Dio, Ixxv. 1-3. 

5 In the inscriptions and on the coins of this period he is 



the senators who had sided with Niger, 1 with the 
exception of one man. Towards the citizens of 
Antioch he was more resentful, because they had 
laughed at him in his administration of the East and 
also had aided Niger with supplies. Eventually he 
deprived them of many privileges. The citizens of 
Neapolis in Palestine, because they had long been 
in arms on Niger's side, 2 he deprived of all their 
civic rights, and to many individuals, other than 
members of the senatorial order, who had followed 
Niger he meted out cruel punishments. Many com- 
munities, 3 too, which had been on Niger's side, were 
punished with fines and degradation ; and such 
senators as had seen active service on Niger's side 
with the title of general or tribune were put to death. 

Next, he engaged in further operations in the 
region about Arabia 4 and brought the Parthians back 
to allegiance and also the Adiabeni all of whom 
had sided with Pescennius. For this exploit, after 
he returned home, he was given a triumph and the 
names Arabicus, Adiabenicus, and Parthicus. 5 He 
refused the triumph, however, lest he seem to 
triumph for a victory over Romans ; and he declined 
the name Earthicus lest he hurt the Parthians' feel- 

X. And then, just as he was returning to Rome 
after the civil war caused by Niger, he received news 196 

called A rabicus Adiabenicus, or Parthicus Arabicus Parthicus 
Adiabenicus; see Dessau, Ins. SeZ.,417 f., and Cohen, iv 2 , p. 8, 
nos. 48-52, and p. 40 f., nos. 363-368. The statement in 11, 
accordingly, is not accurate. However, the cognomen 
Parthicus is not used without these qualifying words until 
after his campaign of 198 (see c. xvi. 2). These names were 
taken in 194, when he was acclaimed Imperatot for the fourth 



aliud bellum civile Clodii Albini nuntiatura est, qui 
rebellavit in Gallia. quare postea occisi sunt filii 

2Nigri 1 cum matre. Albinum igitur statim hostem 
iudicavit et eos qui ad ilium mollius vel scripserunt 

3vel rescripserunt. et cum iret contra Albinum, in 
itinere apud Viminacium filium suum maiorem Bas- 
sianum adposito Aurelii Antonini nomine Caesarem 
appellavit, ut fratrem suum Getam ab spe imperil, 

4quam ille conceperat, summoveret. et nomen qui- 
dem Antonini idcirco filio adposuit, quod somniaverat 

5 Antoiiinum sibi successurum. unde Getam etiam 
quidam Antoninum putant dictum, ut et ipse suc- 

6 cederet in imperio. aliqui putant idcirco ilium An- 
toninum appellatum, quod Severus ipse in Marci 
familiam transire voluerit. 

7 Et primo quidem ab Albinianis Severi duces victi 
sunt. tune sollicitus cum consuleret, a Pannoniacis 
auguribus comperit se victorem futurum, adversarium 

1 filii Nigri om. in P. 

1 See c. vi. 9 ; CL Alb., viii. 4 f. 

3 More correctly, Britain, of which he was governor. He 
had previously received from Severus the title of Caesar (see 
note to CL Alb., i. 2), and he now assumed that of Augustus. 

3 See c. ix. 2 and note. 

4 On his march from Byzantium through Moesia to Gaul. 
As Hirschfeld has pointed out, there is no reason to suppose 
that Severus went to Rome at this time ; see Kl. Schriften 
(Berlin, 1913), p. 432. 

5 From this time on, in inscriptions and on coins he always 
bears the name M. Aurelius Antoninus. 

6 See note to Ael., i. 2. In this instance, the purpose of 
the step was to nullify Albinus' claim to the name and to the 
succession (see note to 1). 

7 i.e. Severus' younger son. 



of another civil war, caused by Clodius Albinus, 1 who 
had revolted in Gaul. 2 It was because of this revolt 
that Niger's children and their mother were later put 
to death. 3 As for Albinus, Severus at once declared 
him a public foe, and likewise those who, in their 
letters to him or replies to his letters, had expressed 
themselves as favourably inclined to him. As he 
was advancing against Albinus, moreover, and had 
reached Viminacium 4 on his march, he gave his elder 
son Bassianus the name Aurelius Antoninus 5 and the 
title of Caesar, 6 in order to destroy whatever hopes of 
succeeding to the throne his brother Geta had con- 
ceived. His reason for giving his son the name An- 
toninus was that he had dreamed that an Antoninus 
would succeed him. It was because of this dream, 
some believe, that Geta 7 also was called Antoninus, 8 
in order that he too might succeed to the throne. 
Others, however, think that Bassianus was given the 
name Antoninus because Severus himself wished to 
pass over into the family of Marcus. 9 

At first, Severus' generals 10 were worsted by those 
of Albinus ; n but when, in his anxiety, he consulted 
augurs in Paiinonia, he learned that he would be 

8 The statement that Geta was given the name Antoninus 
is frequently made in these biographies ; see c. xvi. 4 ; xix. 2 ; 
Get., i. If.; v. 3. It is questioned, on the other hand, in 
Diad., vi. 9, and as this name does not appear in the inscrip- 
tions or on the coins of Geta, the statement is probably in- 

9 So also Dio, Ixxv. 7, 4, and Ixxvi. 9. 4. In his inscrip- 
tions from this time on he appears as Divi Marci Antonini 
Pii Germ. Sarm. filius, etc. He also 'assumed the name 
Pius about this time. 

10 See also Cl. Alb., ix. 1-4. 

11 In particular. Lupus, who was badly defeated by Albinus 
about this time ; see Dio, Ixxv. 6, 2. 



vero nee in potestatem venturum neque evasurum sed 

8 iuxta aquam esse periturum. 1 multi statim amici 

Albini deserentes venere, multi duces capti sunt, in 

XI. quos Severus animadvertit. multis interim varie 

gestis in Gallia primo apud Tinurtium contra Albinum 

2 felicissime pugnavit Severus. cum quidem ingens 
periculum equi casu adiit, 2 ita ut mortuus ictuplumbeae 
crederetur, ita ut alius iam paene imperator ab exer- 

3 citu deligeretur. eo tempore lectis actis quae de 
Clodio Celsiiio laudando, qui Hadrumetinus et adfinis 
Albini erat, facta sunt, iratus senatui Severus, quasi 
hoc Albino senatus praestitisset, Commodum inter 
divos referendum esse censuit, quasi hoc genere se de 

4 senatu posset ulcisci. primusque inter milites divum 
Commodum pronuntiavit idque ad senatum scripsit 

5 add ita oratione victoriae. senatorum deinde qui in 
bello erant interempti cadavera dissipari iussit. 

6 deinde Albini corpore adlato paene seminecis caput 
abscidi iussit Romamque deferri idque litteris pro- 

7 secutus est. victus est Albinus die XI kal. Martias. 

1 sed .... periturum rejected by Peter 2 as repetition from 
Pesc. Nig., ix. 5. 2 cadit P. 

1 Probably the modern Tournus on the Saone about twenty 
miles north of Macon. A description of the engagement is 
given in Dio, Ixxv. 6-7. According to his version, Albinus 
killed himself after the defeat; but see 6-9 and Cl. Alb., 
ix. 3. 

2 i.e. Julius Laetus ; see Herodian, iii. 7, 4; cf. c. xv. 6. 

3 His brother, according to Cl. Alb., ix. 6; xii. 9, but this 
is probably an error. 

4 See Com., xvii. 11. 

6 According to Dio, Ixxv. 7, the announcement of Corn- 
modus' deification did cause the senate great consternation. 
Severus' real purpose, however, was probably to carry out 



the victor, and that his opponent would neither fall 
into his hands nor yet escape, but would die close by 
the water. Many of Albinus' friends soon deserted 
and came over to Severus ; and many of his generals 
were captured, all of whom Severus punished. XI. 
Meanwhile, after many operations had been carried 
on in Gaul with varying success, Severus had his 
first successful encounter with Albinus at Tinurtium. 1 
Through the fall of his horse, however, he was at one 
time in the utmost peril ; and it was even believed 
that he had been slain by a blow with a ball of lead, 
and the army almost elected another emperor. 2 It 
was at this time that Severus, on reading the resolu- 
tions passed by the senate in praise of Clodius 
Celsinus, who was a native of Hadrumetum and 
Albinus' kinsman, 3 became highly incensed at the 
senate, as though it had recognized Albinus by this 
act, and issued a decree that Commodus should be 
placed among the deified, 4 as though he could take 
vengeance on the senate by this sort of thing. 5 He 
proclaimed the deification of Commodus to the 
soldiers first, and then announced it to the senate in 
a letter, to which he added a discourse on his own 
victory. Next, he gave orders that the bodies of the 
senators who had been slain in the battle should be 
mutilated. And then, when Albinus' body was 
brought before him, he had him beheaded while still 
half alive, 6 gave orders that his head should be taken 
to Rome, and followed up the order with a letter. 
Albinus was defeated on the eleventh day before the 19 Feb., 
Kalends of March. 197 

further his policy of attaching himself to the house of the 
Antonines ; see c. x. 6. 
6 See note to 1. 



Reliquum autem cadaver eius ante domum pro- 

8 priam exponi ac diu videri l iussit. equum praeterea 

ipse residens supra cadaver Albini egit expavescen- 

temque admonuit et efFrenatum ut audacter protereret. 

9addunt alii quod idem cadaver in Rhodanum abici 

praecepit, simul etiam uxoris liberorumque eius. 

XII. Interfectis innumeris Albini partium viris, inter 
quos multi principes civitatis, multae feminae inlustres 
fuerunt, omnium bona publicata sunt aerariumque 
auxerunt ; turn et Hispanorum et Gallorum proceres 

2 multi occisi sunt. denique militibus tantuni stipen- 

3 diorum quantum nemo principum dedit. filiis etiam 
suis ex hac proscriptione tantum reliquit quantum 
nullus imperatorum, cum magnam partem auri per 
Gallias, per Hispanias, per Italiam, imperatoriam 2 

4fecisset. tuncque primum privatarum rerum pro- 
5 curatio constituta est. multi sane post Albinum fidem 
6ei servantes bello a Severo superati sunt. eodem 

tempore etiam legio Arabica defecisse ad Albinum 

nuntiata est. 

7 Ultus igitur graviter Albinianam defectionem inter- 
fectis plurimis, genere quoque eius exs-tincto, iratus 

8 Romam et populo et senatoribus venit. Commodum 
in senatu et contione laudavit, deum appellavit, 
infamibus displicuisse dixit, ut appareret eum aper- 

1 diu uideri Salmasius ; diuidere P. 2 imperatoriam von 
Domaszewski ; imperatcr iam P, Peter. 

1 These executions took place in Gaul (Herodian, iii. 8, 2) ; 
they are to be distinguished from the later executions at 
Rome ; see c. xiii. 



The rest of Albiims' body was, by Severus' order, 
laid out in front of his own home, and kept there for 
a long time exposed to view. Furthermore, Severus 
himself rode on horseback over the body, and when 
the horse shied, he spoke to it and loosed the reins, 
that it might trample boldly. Some add that he 
ordered Albinus' body to be cast into the Rhone, and 
also the bodies of his wife and children. 

XII. Countless persons who had sided with Albinus 
were put to death, 1 among them numerous leading 
men and many distinguished women, and all their 
goods were confiscated and went to swell the public 
treasury. Many nobles of the Gauls and Spains were 
also put to death at this time. Finally, he gave his 
soldiers sums of money such as 110 emperor had ever 
given before. Yet as a result of these confiscations, 
he left his sons a fortune greater than any other 
emperor had left to his heirs, for he had made a 
large part of the gold in the Gauls, Spains, and 
Italy imperial property. At this time the office of 
steward for private affairs 2 was first established. 
After Albinus' death many who remained loyal to 
him were defeated by Severus in battle. At this 
same time, moreover, he received word that the 
legion in Arabia had gone over to Albinus. 3 

And so, after having taken harsh vengeance for 
Albinus' revolt by putting many men to death and 
exterminating Albinus' family, he came to Rome filled 
with wrath at the people and senate. He delivered 
a eulogy of Commodus before the senate and before 
an assembly of the people and declared him a god ; 
he averred, moreover, that Commodus had been un- 

2 See note to Com., xx. 1. 

3 The Third Legion, the Cyrenaica. 



gtissime furere. post hoc de sua dementia disseruit, 
cum crudel issimus fuerit et senatores infra scriptos 

XIII. occiderit. occidit autem sine causae dictione hos 
nobiles : Mummium Secundinum, Asellium Claudi- 

2anum, Claudium Rufum, Vitalium Victorem, Papium 
Faustum, Aelium Celsum, lulium Rufum, Lollium 
Professum, Aurunculeium Cornelianum, Antonium 1 
Balbum, Postumium Severum, Sergium Lustralem, 

3 Fabium Paulinum, Nonium Gracchum, Masticium 
Fabianum, Casperium Agrippinum, Ceionium Albinum, 

4 Claudium Sulpicianum, Memmium Rufinum, Cas- 
perium Aemilianum, Cocceium Verum, Erucium Cla- 

5 rum, Aelium 2 Stilonem, Clodium Rufinum, Egnatu- 

6 leium Honoratum, Petronium luniorem, Pescennios 
Festum et Veratianum et Aurelianum et Materianum 
et lulianum et Albinum, Cerellios Macrinum et Faust- 

7 inianum et lulianum, Herennium Nepotem, Sulpicium 
Canum, Valerium C'atullinum, Novium Rufum, Claudi- 

8 um Arabianum, Marcium a Aselhonem. horum igitur 
tantorum ac tarn inlustrium virorum, nam multi in his 
consulares, multi praetorii, omnes certe summi viri 

9 fuere, interfector ab Afris ut deus habetur. Cincium 
Severum calumniatus est quod se veneno adpetisset, 

XIV. atque ita interfecit. Narcissum dein, Commodi 
strangulatorern, leonibus obiecit. multos praeterea 

1 Antonium Hirschfeld, ace. by Peter, 2 Praef., p. xlii. ; 
Antoninum P, Peter. 2 Aelium Hirschfeld, ace. by Peter, 2 
Praef., p. xiii. ; L. P, Peter. * Marc mm Hirschleld, ace. 

by Peter^, Praef., p. xlii. ; Marcum P, -Peter. 

1 A few telling sentences from the speech are recorded in 
Dio, Ixxv. 8. Dio also relates that he praised the severity 
and cruelty of Marius and Sulla ; these names were aiterwarda 
applied to him ; see Pesc. Nig., vi. 4. 



popular only among the degraded. 1 Indeed, it was 
evident that Severus was openly furious. After this 
he spoke about the mercy he had shown, whereas 
he was really exceedingly blood-thirsty and executed 
the senators enumerated below. 2 XIII. He put to 
death without even a trial the following noblemen : 
Mummius Secundinus, Asellius Claudianus, Claudius 
Rufus, Vitalius Victor, Papius Faustus, Aelius Celsus, 
Julius Rufus, Lollius Professus, Aurunculeius Cor- 
nelianus, Antonius Balbus, Postumius Severus, Sergius 
Lustralis, Fabius Paulinus, Nonius Gracchus, Masticius 
Fabianus, Casperius Agrippinus, Ceionius Albinus, 
Claudius Sulpicianus, Memmius Rufinus, Casperius 
Aemilianus, Cocceius Verus, Erucius Clarus, Aelius 
Stilo, Clodius Rufinus, Egnatuleius Honoratus, Petro- 
nius Junior, the six Pescennii, Festus, Veratianus, 
Aurelianus, Materianus, Julianus, and Albinus ; the 
three Cerellii, Macrinus, Faustinianus, and Julianus ; 
Herennius Nepos, Sulpicius Can us, Valerius Catullinus, 
Novius Rufus, Claudius Arabianus, and Marcius Asel- 
lio. And yet he who murdered all these distinguished 
men, many of whom had been consuls and many 
praetors, while all were of high estate, is regarded 
by the Africans as a god. He falsely accused Cincius 
Severus of attempting his life by poison, and there- 
upon put him to death ; next, he cast to the lions 
Narcissus, the man who had strangled Commodus. 3 
XIV. And besides, he put to death many men from 

a According to Dio, ibid., he executed twenty-nine and par- 
doned thirty five. The following list of forty-one probably 
includes some of the partisans of Niger, whom Severus had 
previously refrained from putting to death ; see c. ix. 3. 

3 Of. Com., xvii. 2. But according to Dio, Narcissus was 
put to death by Didius Julianus ; see note to Did. Jul., vi. 2. 



obscuri loci homines interemit praeter eos quos vis 

proelii absumpsit. 
2 Post haec, cum se vellet commendare hominibus, 

vehicularium mimus a privatis ad fiscum traduxit. 
SCaesarem dein Bassianum Antoninum a senatu ap- 
4pellari fecit, decretis imperatoriis insignlbus. ru- 

more deinde belli Parthici excitus l patri matri avo et 

5 uxori priori per se statuas conlocavit. Plautianum 
ex amicissimo cognita eius vita ita odio habuit, ut et 
hostem publicum appellaret et depositis statuis eius 
per orbem terrae gravi eum insigniret iniuria, iratus 
praecipue, quod inter propinqu'orum et adfinium 
Severi simulacra suam statuam ille posuisset. 

6 Palaestinis poenam remisit quam ob causam Nigri 

7 meruerant. postea iterum cum Plautiano in gratiam 
rediit et veluti ovans urbem ingressus Capitolium 2 
petiit, quam vis et ipsum procedenti tempore occiderit. 

1 excitus Editor; exciti Petschenig ; extiti P ; extincti 
Peter * ; rumor . . . extitit Peter. 2 2 cum eo Capitolium 

Peter ; cum eo om. in P. 

1 See note to Hadr., vii. 5. 

2 Bassianus had already received the name Caesar (see c. 
x. 3) ; it was now confirmed by the senate. He was also at 
this time made a member of some of the priestly colleges to 
which the emperor belonged (see note to Marc., vi. 3), and he 
was apparently recognized officially as his father's successor, 
for from now on he bore the title of Imperator Destinatus ; 
see Dessau, Ins. Sel., 442, 446, 447. 

3 See c. xv. f. 4 See c. iii. 2 and note. 

5 C. Fulvius Plautianus, prefect of the guard. For an ac- 
count of his great power and his influence over Severus see 
Dio, Ixxv. 14-15. He received the ornamenta consuiaria 
(see note to Hadr., viii. 7), and was consul in 203. 



the more humble walks of life, not to speak of those 
whom the fury of battle had consumed. 

After this, wishing to ingratiate himself with the 
people, he took the postal service 1 out of private 
hands and transferred its cost to the privy-purse. 
Then he caused the senate to give Bassianus An- 
toninus the title of Caesar and grant him the imperial 
insignia. 2 Next, when called away by the rumour of 201 
a Parthian war, 3 he set up at his own expense statues 
in honour of his father, mother, grandfather and first 
wife. 4 He had been very friendly with Plautianus ; 5 
but, on learning his true character, he conceived such 
an aversion to him as even to declare him a public ca. 203-4 
enemy, overthrow his statues, 6 and make him famous 
throughout the entire world for the severity of his 
punishment, the chief reason for his anger being that 
Plautianus had set up his own statue among the 
statues of Severus' kinsmen and connections. He re- 
voked the punishment which had been imposed upon 
the people of Palestine 7 on Niger's account. Later, 
he again entered into friendly relations with Plauti- 
anus, and after entering the city in his company like 
one who celebrates an ovation, 8 he went up to the 
Capitol, although in the course of time he killed him. 
He bestowed the. toga virilis on his younger son, 

6 This incident is described quite differently in Dio, Ixxv. 
'16, 2 ; apparently, an order to melt some of the bronze 

statues of Plautianus gave rise to the belief that he had been 

7 See c. ix. 5. 

8 A minor triumph, in which the general rode through the 
city instead of driving a chariot. It was celebrated in case 
the war had not been formally declared, or the vanquished 
was not a recognized hostis, or the victory had been bloodless ; 
see Gellius, v. 6, 21. 



SGetae minor! filio togam virilem dedit, maiori Plau- 
9tiani filiam uxorem iunxit. ii qui hostem publicum 

Plautianum dixerant deportati sunt. ita omnium 
lOrerum semper quasi naturali lege mutatio est. filios 

dein consules designavit. Getam fratrem extulit. 

11 profectus dehinc ad bellum Parthicum est, edito 

12 gladiatorio munere et congiario populo dato. multos 
inter haec causis vel veris vel simulatis occidit, 

13 damnabantur autem plerique, cur iocati essent, alii, 
cur tacuissent, alii, cur pleraque figurata l dixissent. 
ut "ecce imperator vere nominis sui, vere Pertinax, 
vere Severus ". 

XV. Erat sane in sermone vulgari Parthicum bel- 
lum adfectare Septimium Severum, gloriae cupiditate 
2non aliqua necessitate deductum. traiecto denique 
exercitu a Brundisio continuato itinere venit in 

3 Syriam Parthosque summovit. sed postea in Syriam 
rediit, ita ut se pararet ac bellum Parthis inferret. 

4 inter haec Pescennianas reliquias Plautiano auctore 
persequebatur, ita ut nonnullos etiam ex amicis suis 

5 quasi vitae suae insidiatores appeteret. multos etiam, 
quasi Chaldaeos aut vates de sua salute consuluissent, 

1 figurata P ; figurate Peter. 

1 Fulvia Plautilla. The marriage took place in 202 ; she 
received the title of Augusta, which appears in inscriptions and 
on her coins (Cohen, iv 2 , pp. 243 and 247 f.). When her 
father was assassinated in the Palace (see Dio, Ixxvi. 4) in 
205, she was banished ; later on she was put to death. 

2 Apparently after Geta's death by a public funeral and 
a statue in the Forum ; see Dio, Ixxvi. 2, 4. 

3 The Parthians had entered Mesopotamia and were at- 



Geta, and he united his elder son in marriage with 
Plautianus' daughter. 1 Those who had declared 
Plautianus a public enemy were now driven into 
exile. Thus, as if by a law of nature, do all things 
ever shift and change. Soon thereafter he appointed 
his sons to the consulship ; also he greatly honoured 205 
his brother Geta. 2 Then, after giving a gladiatorial 
show and bestowing largess upon the people, he set 
out for the Parthian war. Many men meanwhile 
were put to death, some on true and some on trumped- 
up charges. Several were condemned because they 
had spoken in jest, others because they had not 
spoken at all, others again because they had cried 
out many things with double meaning, such as 
" Behold an emperor worthy of his name Perti- 
nacious in very truth, in very truth Severe ". 

XV. It was commonly rumoured, to be sure, that in 
planning a war on the Parthians, Septimius Severus 
was influenced rather by a desire for glory than by 
any real necessity. 3 Finally, he transported his army 
from Brundisium, reached Syria without breaking 
his voyage, and forced the Parthians to retreat. 4 
After that, however, he returned to Syria in order to 
make preparations to carry on an offensive war against 
the Parthians. In the meantime, on the advice of 
Plautianus. he hunted down the last survivors of 
Pescennius' revolt, and he even went so far as to 
bring charges against several of his own friends on 
the ground that they were plotting to kilt him. He 
put numerous others to death on the charge of having 
asked Chaldeans or soothsayers how long he was 

tacking Nisibis, the seat of Severus' operations in his former 
campaign ; see note to c. ix. 9. 
4 i.e. from Nisibis. 



interemit, praecipue suspectans l unumquemque 
idoneum imperio, cum ipse parvulos adhuc filios 
haberet idque dici ab his vel crederet vel audiret, 

6 qui sibi augurabantur imperium. denique cum occisi 
essent nonnulli, Severus se excusabat et post eorum 
mortem negabat fieri iussisse quod factum est. quod 

7 de Laeto praecipue Marius Maximus dicit. cum soror 
sua Leptitana ad eum venisset vix Latine loquens, ac 
de ilia multum imperator erubesceret, dato filio eius 
lato clavo atque ipsi multis muneribus redire mulier- 
em in patriam praecepit, et quidem cum filio, qui 
brevi 2 vita defunctus est. 

XVI. Aestate igitur iam exeunte Parthiam ingres- 
sus Ctesiphontem pulso rege pervenit et cepit hiemali 
prope tempore, quod in illis regionibus melius per 
hiemem bella tractantur, cum herbarum 3 radicibus 
milites viverent atque inde morbos aegritudinesque 

2 contraherent. quare cum obsistentibus Parthis, 
fluente quoque per insuetudinem cibi alvo militum, 
longius ire non posset, tamen perstitit et oppidum 
cepit et regem fugavit et plurimos interemit et 

3 Parthicum nomen meruit. ob hoc 4 etiam filium eius 

1 suspectans Casaubon, Peter 2 ; suspectos P ; suspectus 
Salmasius, Peter 1 . 2 quibus seui P. 3 herbarum Eg- 

natius, Peter 1 ; culparumP', f culparum Peter 2 ; caeparum 
Kellerbauer. *ob hoc Ed. priuceps, Peter 1 ; ob P; ideo 

Peter 2 . 

1 His legate in his former campaign and the defender of 
Nisibis against the Parthians ; see notes to c. xv. 1-2. He 
was put to death during the siege of Hatra, which followed 
the capture of Ctesiphon ; see Dio, Ixxv. 10, 3. 

2 See note to Com., iv. 7. 



destined to live ; and he was especially suspicious of 
anyone who seemed qualified for the imperial power, 
for his sons were still very young, and he believed 
or had heard that this fact was being observed by 
those who were seeking omens regarding their own 
prospects of the throne. Eventually, however, when 
several had been put to death, Severus disclaimed 
all responsibility, and after their death denied that 
he had given orders to do what had been done. 
Marius Maximus says that this was particularly true 
in the case of Laetus. 1 His sister from Leptis once 
came to see him, and, since she could scarcely speak 
Latin, made the emperor blush for her hotly. And 
so, after giving the broad stripe 2 to her son and many 
presents to the woman herself, he sent her home 
again, and also her son, who died a short time after- 

XVI. When the summer was well-nigh over, 
Severus invaded Parfhia, defeated the king, and came 198 
to Ctesiphon ; and about the beginning of the winter 
season he took the city. For indeed in those regions 
it is better to wage war during the winter, although 
the soldiers live on the roots of the plants and so 
contract various ills and diseases. For this reason 
then, although he could make no further progress, 
since the Parthian army was blocking the way and 
his men were suffering from diarrhoea because of the 
unfamiliar food, he nevertheless held his ground, 
took the city, put the king to flight, slew a great 
multitude, and gained the name Parthicus. 3 For 
this feat, likewise, the soldiers declared his son, 

3 Parthicus Maximus ; this cognomen appears in his in- 
scriptions and on his coins from 198 onward. On his pre- 
vious cognomina see note to c. ix. 10. 



Bassianum Antoninum, qui Caesar appellatus iam 
fuerat, annum xin agentem participem imperil 

4 dixerunt milites. Getam quoque, minorem filium, 
Caesarem dixerunt, eundem Antoninum, ut plerique 

5 in litteras tradunt, appellantes. harum appellationum 
causa donativum militibus largissimum dedit, con- 
cessa omni praeda oppidi Parthici, quod milites 

6 quaerebant. inde in Syriam rediit victor, et Parthicum 1 
deferentibus sibi patribus triumphum idcirco recusavit, 
quod consistere in curru adfectus articulari morbo 

7 non posset, filio sane concessit, ut triumpharet ; cui 
senatus Judaicum triumphum decreverat, idciro quod 
et in Syria res bene gestae fuerant a Severo. 

Dein cum Antiochiam transisset, data vir.ili toga 

filio maiori secum eum consulem designavit, et statim 

9 in Syria consulatum inierunt. post hoc dato stipendio 

X.VII. cumulatiore militibus Alexandriam petiit. in itinere 

Palaestinis plurima iura fundavit. ludaeos fieri sub 

gravi poena vetuit. idem etiam de Christianis sanxit. 

2deinde Alexandrinis ius buleutarum dedit, qui sine 

publico consilio ita ut sub regibus ante vivebant, uno 

l parthicus P. 

1 He was acclaimed Augustus by the soldiers and received 
the tribunician power from Severus. The date was prior to 
the 3rd May, 198, since he is called Augustus in an African 
inscription of that date ; see C.I.L., viii. 2465 = Dessau, Ins. 
Sel. 2485. 

2 Cf. c. x. 3 andxiv. 3. 

3 He is called Nobilissimus Caesar in inscriptions from 198 

4 See note to c. x. 5. 

6 Ctesiphon. The sack of the city is also mentioned in 
Dio, Ixxv. 9, 4. 

6 But not until after two unsuccessful sieges of Hatra in 
Mesopotamia ; see Dio, Ixxv. 10-12. 



Bassianus Antoninus, co-emperor ; l he had already 
been named Caesar 2 and was now in his thirteenth 
year. And to Geta, his younger son, they gave the 
name Caesar, 3 and called him in addition Antoninus, 4 
as several men relate in their writings. To celebrate 
the bestowal of these names Severus gave the soldiers 
an enormous donative, none other, in truth, than 
liberty to plunder the Parthian capital, 5 a privilege 
for which they had been clamouring. He then 
returned victorious to Syria. 6 But when the senators 
offered him a triumph for the Parthian campaign, 
he declined it because he was so afflicted with gout 
that he was unable to stand upright in his chariot. 
Notwithstanding this, he gave permission that his 
son should celebrate a triumph ; for the senate had 
decreed to him a triumph over Judaea because of 
the successes achieved by Severus in Syria. 7 

Next, when he had reached Antioch, he bestowed 
the toga virilis upon his elder son and appointed 
him consul as colleague to himself; and without 
further delay, while still in Syria, the two entered 
upon their consulship". XVII. After this, having 202. 
first raised his soldiers' pay, he turned his steps 
toward Alexandria, and while on his way thither ,he 
conferred numerous rights upon the communities of 
Palestine. 8 He forbade conversion to Judaism under 
heavy penalties and enacted a similar law in regard to 
the Christians. He then gave the Alexandrians the 
privilege of a local senate, for they were still with- 
out any public council, just as they had been under 
their own kings, y and were obliged to be content with 

7 As Caracalla was only twelve years old it is hardly likely 
that he won a victory in person. 

8 Cf . c. xiv. 6, 9 The Ptolemaic dynasty. 



3 iudice content!, quern l Caesar dedisset. raulta prae- 

4 terea his iura mutavit. iucundam sibi peregriiiatioiiem 
hanc propter religionem dei Serapidis et propter 
rerum antiquarnm cognitionem et propter novitatem 
animalium vel locorum 2 fuisse Severus ipse postea 
semper ostendit. nam et Memphim et Memnonen 
et pyramides et labyrinthum diligenter inspexit. 

5 Et quoniam longum est minora persequi, huius 
magnifica ilia : quod victo et occiso luliano prae- 
torianas cohortes exauctoravit, Pertinacem contra 
voluntatem militum in deos rettulit, Salvii 3 luliani 

6 decreta iussit aboleri ; quod non obtinuit. denique 
cognomentum Pertinacis non tarn ex sua voluntate 

7 quam ex 4 morum parsimonia videtur habuisse. nam 
et infinita multorum caede crudelior habitus et, cum 
quidam ex hostibus eidem se suppliciter obtulisset 
atque dixisset 5 illi " quid facturus esses ? " 6 , non 

1 om. in P 1 , added in P corr. 2 bello eorum P. s saluti 
P. 4 quam ex P ; atque Peter. 5 obtulisset atque dixisset 
Peter 2 ; obtulissetque dixis*< t P ; obtulisset dixissetque Peter. 1 
6 illi quid facturus esses Mommsen ; ille quod facturus esset 
P; ille . . . quod facturus esset Peter. 

ir The turidicus Alezandriae. Augustus had refused to 
allow Alexandria to have a local senate; see Dio, li. 17, 2. 

2 The famous "singing Meranon " at Thebes, a colossal 
statute of Amenophis III. 

3 In the Fayum in Middle Egypt. A description of it ig 
given by Herodotus, iii. 118, 

4 This section of the biography (xvii. 5 xix. 4) bears a close 
resemblance, often in the actual wording, to Victor, de 
Caesaribus, xx., and in some passages it seems to be a mere 
abbreviation of Victor's narrative; see Intro., p. xxii. 

5 See note to c. vi. 11. G Cf. c. vii. 8; Pert., xiv. 10. 

7 In both this passage and the corresponding sentence in 

Victor (Caes., xx. 1) there seems to be a confusion between 



the single governor appointed by Caesar. 1 Besides 
this, he changed many of their laws. In after years 
Severus himself continually avowed that he had 
found this journey very enjoyable, because he had 
taken part in the worship of the god Serapis, had 
learned something of antiquity, and had seen un- 
familiar animals and strange places. For he visited 
Memphis, Memnon, 2 the Pyramids, and the Laby- 
rinth, 3 and examined them all with great care. 

But since it is tedious to mention in detail the 
less important matters, only the most noteworthy of 
his deeds are here related. 4 He discharged the 
cohorts of the guard 5 after Julianus was defeated 
and slain ; he deified Pertinax against the wishes of 
the army ; 6 and he gave orders that the decisions of 
Salvius Julianus should be annulled, 7 though this he 
did not succeed in accomplishing. Lastly, he was 
given the surname Pertinax, not so much by his 
own wish, 8 it seems, as because of his frugal ways. 9 
In fact, he was considered somewhat cruel, both on 
account of his innumerable executions 10 and because, 
when one of his enemies came before him on a certain 
occasion to crave forgiveness and said " What would 
you have done?", 11 Severus was not softened by so 

Salvius Julianus and his Edictum Perpetuum (see note to 
Hadr., xviii. 1), on the one hand, and Didius Julianus and his 
Ada, on the other. The Acta were doubtless rescinded, but 
the Edictum remained in force. 

8 But see c. vii. 9 and note. He assumed the name in 
order to strengthen his own position. 

9 Of. c. xix. 7-8. Pertinax was famous for his frugality ; 
see Pert., viii. 9-11; xii. 2-6. 

10 See c. xii-xiii. 

J1 The story is preserved in complete form in Victor, Caes., 
xx. 11. 



emollitus L tarn prudente dicto interfici eum iussit. 

8 fuit praeterea delendarum cupidus factionum. prope 

XVIII. a nullo congressu digressus 2 nisi victor. Persarum 

regem Abgarum subegit. Arabas in dicionem accepit. 
2Adiabenos in tributaries coegit. Britanniam, quod 

maximum eius imperil decus est, muro per trans- 

versam insulam ducto utrimque 3 ad finem Oceani 

munivit. unde etiam Britannici nomen accepit. 
STripolim, unde oriundus erat, contusis bellicosissimis 

gentibus securissimam reddidit, ac populo Romano 

diurnum 4 oleum gratuitum et fecimdissimum in 

aeternum donavit. 
4 Idem cum implacabilis delictis fuit, turn ad 

erigendos industries quosque iudicii singularis. 
Sphilosophiae ac dicendi studiis satis deditus, doctrinae 
Gquoque nimis cupidus. latronum ubique hostis. 

vitam suam privatam publicamque ipse composuit ad 
7 fidem, solum tamen vitium crudelitatis excusans. de 

hoc senatus ita iudicavit, ilium aut nasci non debuisse 

1 so Peter 2 ; est emollitus P, Peter. 1 2 inserted by Casau- 
bon. 3 utrumque P. 4 diurnum Casaubon ; diuturnam P. 

1 The ambiguity of this sentence is due to excessive com- 
pression of the original as preserved in Victor, Caes., xx. 13- 
14. The transition from the suppression ot conspiracies to 
success in foreign wars is entirely omitted. 

2 Abgar IX., King of Osroene, who joined Severus on his 
Parthian campaign, gave his sons as hostages and assumed 
the name Septimius; see Herodian, iii. 9, 2. According to 
Herodian, this happened in connection with Severus' second 
campaign, in 198, but it has been maintained that the in- 
cident should be connected with the first campaign, in 195. 

8 Cf . c. ix. 9 and note. 

4 This does not refer to the construction of a new wall, but 
to the restoration probably of the wall of Hadrian (see Hadr.. 
xi. 2 ; Pius, v. 4). 



sensible a speech, but ordered him to be put to 
death. He was determined to crush out conspira- 
cies. He seldom departed from a battle except as 
victor. 1 XVIII. He defeated Abgarus, the king of 
the Persians. 2 He extended his sway over the Arabs. 
He forced the Adiabeni to give tribute. 3 He built 
a wall 4 across the island of Britain from sea to sea, 
and thus made the province secure the crowning 
glory of his reign ; in recognition thereof he was 
given the name Britannicus. 5 He freed Tripolis, 210 
the region of his birth, from fear of attack by crushing 
sundry warlike tribes. And he bestowed upon the 
Roman people, without cost, a most generous daily 
allowance of oil in perpetuity. 6 

He was implacable toward the guilty ; at the same 
time he showed singular judgment in advancing the 
efficient. He took a fair interest in philosophy and 
oratory, and showed a great eagerness for learning 
in general. He was relentless everywhere toward 
brigands. 7 He wrote a trustworthy account of his 
own life, both before and after he became emperor, 8 
in which the only charge that he tried to explain away 
was that of cruelty. In regard to this charge, the 
senate declared that Severus either should never have 

5 Britannicus Maximus; it appears in his inscriptions of 
210. The cognomen Britannicus is found on his coins of 211, 
bearing the legend Victoriae Britannicae ; see Cohen, iv 2 , p. 
75 f., no. 722 f. 

6 Cf. c. xxiii. 2; Alex., xxii. 2. Previous to this time oil, 
like grain, had been sold by the government at low prices, 
but from now on until after the time of Constantino it was 
given to the populace. 

7 Especially one famous brigand named Bulla Felix, who 
with a band of six hundred men terrorized Italy for two years ; 
see Dio, Ixxvi. 10. 

8 See note to c. iii. 2. 



aut mori, quod et nimis crudelis et nimis utilis rei 

8 publicae videretur. domi tamen minus cautus, qui 
uxorem luliam famosam adulteriis tenuit, ream l etiam 

9 coniurationis. idem, cum pedibus aeger bellum 
moraretur, idque milites anxie ferrent eiusque filium 
Bassianum, qui una erat, Augustum fecissent, tolli se 
atque in tribunal ferri iussit, adesse deinde omnes 

10 tribunes centuriones duces et cohortes quibus auc- 
toribus id acciderat, sisti deinde filium, qui Augusti 
nomen acceperat. cumque animadverti in omnes auc- 
tores facti praeter filium iuberet rogareturque 2 omni- 
bus ante tribunal prostratis, caputmanu contingens ait : 

11 "Tandem sentitis caput imperare, non pedes ". huius 
dictum est, cum eum ex humili per litterarum et 
militiae officia ad imperium plurimis gradibus fortuna 
duxisset : " Omnia," inquit, <f fui et nihil expedit." 

XIX. Periit Eboraci in Britannia, subactis gentibus 

quae Britanniae videbantur infestae, anno imperil 

2 xvin, morbo gravissimo exstinctus iam senex. re- 

1 ream Salmasius ; earn P. 2 rogareturque Peter l ; 

rogareiur quern P ; rogareturque <wenio>w Klein, Peter a , 
but see use of rogatus in Pesc. Nig., x. 5. 

1 There is no suggestion in Dio that she was guilty of either 
adultery or conspiracy. Both charges are probably due to the 
machinations of Plautianus, who tried to poison Severus' 
mind against her ; see Dio, Ixxv. 15, 6 ; Ixxviii. 24, 1. The 
statement of an incestuous relationship between her and 
Caracalla found in the Historia Augusta (c. xxi. 7 and Carac., 
x. 1-4) and in other writings of a late date (e.g. Victor, Caes., 
xxi.) represents a definite historical tradition composed by a 
traducer of Julia. 



been born at all or never should have died, because 
on the one hand, he had proved too cruel, and on the 
other, too useful to the state. For all that, he was 
less careful in his home-life, for he retained his wife 
Julia even though she was notorious for her adulteries 
and also guilty of plotting against him. 1 On one 
occasion, 2 when he so suffered from gout as to delay 
a campaign, his soldiers in their dismay conferred on 
his son Bassianus, who was with him at the time, 
the title of Augustus. Severus, however, had him- 
self lifted up and carried to the tribunal, summoned 
all the tribunes, centurions, generals, and cohorts 
responsible for this occurrence, and after commanding 
his son, who had received the name Augustus, to 
stand up, gave orders that all the authors of this deed, 
save only his son, should be punished. When they 
threw themselves before the tribunal and begged for 
pardon, Severus touched his head with his hand and 
said, " Now at last you know that the head does the 
ruling, and not the feet". And even after fortune 
had led him step by step through the pursuits of 
study and of warfare even to the throne, he used to 
say : " Everything have I been, and nothing have I 

XIX. In the eighteenth year of his reign, now an 
old man and overcome by a most grievous disease, 
he died at Eboracum in Britain, after subduing 4 Feb., 
various tribes that seemed a possible menace to the 211 

2 The following incident is related in almost exactly the 
same words in Victor, Caes., xx. 25-26. It probably occurred 
during the war in Britain, where, according to Dio, Ixxvi. 14, 
Caracalla made various plots against his father. The title of 
Augustus had been conferred on Caracalla some years pre- 
viously in Mesopotamia ; see note to c. xvi. 3. 



liquit filios duos, Antoninum Bassianum et Getam, cui 
et ipsi in honorem Marci Antonini nomen imposuit. 
Sinlatus 1 sepulchre Marci Antonini, quern ex omnibus 
imperatoribus tantum coluit, ut et Commodum in 
divos referret et Antonini nomen omnibus deinceps 

4 quasi Augusti adscribendum putaret. ipse a senatu 
agentibus liberis, qui 2 ei funus amplissimum exhib- 
uerant, inter divos est relatus. 

5 Opera publica praecipua eius exstant Septizonium 
et Thermae Severianae. eiusdemque etiam Sep- 
timianae 3 in Transtiberina regione ad portam nominis 
sui, quarum forma intercidens statim usum publicum 

6 Indicium de eo post mortem magnum omnium 
fuit, maxime quod diu nee a filiis eius boni aliquid rei 
publicae venit, et postea invadentibus multis rem 
publicam res Romana praedonibus direptui fuit. 

1 inlcgatus P. 2 liberisque P. 3 Septimianae Zange- 
meister ; eius denique etiam ianae P ; eiusdemque etiam ianuae 
Peter; aliae Hirschfeld, ace. by Peter 2 , Praef., p. xlii. 

1 Especially the Caledonii and the Maeatae, the former of 
whom lived north of the " wall which divides the island into 
two parts," the latter south of it ; see Dio, Ixxvi. 12, 1. 

2 See note to c. x. 5. 

3 i.e. the Tomb of Hadrian (see note to Hadr., xix. 11), in 
which Marcus and the other members of the house of the 
Antonines were buried. 

4 See c. xi. 3. 

5 Commemorated on coins with the legends Divo Severo 
Pio and Consecratio; see Cohen, iv 2 , p. 12 f., nos. 80-91. 

6 This was a three-storied portico at the south-eastern 
corner of the Palatine Hill. Its purpose was to give an orna- 



province. 1 He left two sons, Antoninus Bassianus 
and Geta, also named by him Antoninus 2 in honour 
of Marcus. Severus was laid in the tomb of Marcus 
Antoninus, 3 whom of all the emperors he revered so 
greatly that he even deified Commodus 4 and held 
that all emperors should thenceforth assume the 
name Antoninus as they did that of Augustus. At 
the demand of his sons, who gave him a most splendid 
funeral, he was added to the deified. 5 

The principal public works of his now in existence 
are the Septizonium 6 and the Baths of Severus. 7 He 
also built the Septimian Baths in the district across 
the Tiber near the gate named after him, 8 but the 
aqueduct fell down immediately after its completion 
and the people were unable to make any use of them. 

After his death the opinion that all men held of 
him was high indeed ; for, in the long period that 
followed, no good came to the state from his sons, 
and after them, when many invaders came pouring 
in upon the state, the Roman Empire became a thing 
for free-booters to plunder. 

mental front to the Palace at the place where it faced the 
Appian Way ; see c. xxiv. 3. 

7 According to an ancient description of Rome dating from 
the time of Constantine (the Notitia Regionum), these baths 
were in the First Region, the southernmost part of the city. 
All trace of them, however, has disappeared, and they may 
have been absorbed in the Thermae Antoninianae, i.e., Baths 
of Caracalla ; see Carac., ix. 4 f. 

8 The Porta Septimiana, where the modern Via della 
Lungara passes through the Wall of Aurelian, probably cor- 
responds with the site of this gate. The Thermae Septimianae 
(if Zangemeister's reading be correct) must have been in this 
neighbourhood. The name seems to be preserved in the ex- 
pression il Settignano, which was formerly applied to the 
southern end of the Via della Lungara. 



7 Hie tarn exiguis vestibus usus est ut vix et 1 tunica 
eius aliquid purpurae haberet, cum hirta chlamyde 

Sumeros velaret. 2 cibi parcissimus, leguminis patrii 
avid us, vini aliquando cupidus, carnis frequenter 

9 ignarus. ipse decorus, ingens, promissa barba, cano 

capite et crispo, vultu reverendus, canorus voce, sed 

10 Afrum quiddam usque ad senectutem sonans. ac 

multum post mortem amatus vel invidia deposita vel 

crudelitatis metu. 

XX. Legisse me apud Aelium 3 Maurum Phlegontis 
Hadriani libertum memini Septimium Severum in- 
moderatissime, cum moreretur, laetatum, quod duos 
Antoninos pari imperio rei publicae relinqueret, 
exemplo Pii, qui Verum et Marcum Antoninos per 

2 adoptionem filios rei publicae reliquit, hoc melius 
quod ille filios per adoptionem, hie per se genitos 
rectores Romanae rei publicae daret ; Antoninum 
scilicet Bassiamim quidem ex priore matrimonio 

Ssusceperat et Getam de lulia genuerat. sed ilium 
multum spes fefellit ; nam unum parricidium, al- 
terum sui mores rei publicae inviderunt. sanctumque 

4illud nomen in nullo fere diu bene mansit. et re- 
putanti mihi, Diocletiane Auguste, neminem prope 4 

1 uix et Salmasius ; uixit P. 2 ualeret P. 3 Helius 

P, Peter. 4 neminem prepe Edit, princeps, Peter 1 ; nemi- 
facere prope P, Peter 2 ; neminem fere [prope] Salmasius. 

1 Cf. c. xvii. 6. Dio also comments on the simplicity of 
Severus' mode of life ; see Ixxvi. 17. 

2 See Hadr., xvi.i. 

3 Geta received the title of Augustus in 209 ; see his coins 
of 209, Cohen, iv 2 , p. 266 f., nos. 129-131. 

* This statement is made in other rhetorical portions of 
the Historia Augusta (Carac., x. 1 ; Geta, vii. 3) and in 




His clothing was of the plainest; indeed, even his 
tunic had scarcely any purple on it, while he covered 
his shoulders with a shaggy cloak. He was very 
sparing in his diet, 1 was fond of his native beans, 
liked wine at times, and often went without meat. 
In person he was large and handsome. His beard 
was long ; his hair was gray and curly, his face was 
such as to inspire respect. His voice was clear, but 
retained an African accent even to his old age. After 
his death he was much beloved, for then all envy of 
his power or fear of his cruelty had vanished. 

XX. I can remember reading in Aelius Maurus, 
the freedman of that Phlegon 2 who was Hadrian's 
freedman, that Septimius Severus rejoiced exceedingly 
at the time of his death, because he was leaving two 
Antonini to rule the state with equal powers, 3 herein 
following the example of Pius, who left to the state 
Verus and Marcus Antoninus, his two sons by adop- 
tion; and that he rejoiced all the more, because, 
while Pius had left only adopted sons, he was leaving 
sons of his own blood to rule the Roman state, 
namely Antoninus Bassianus, whom he had begotten 
from his first marriage, 4 and Geta, whom Julia had 
borne him. In these high hopes, however, he was 
grievously deceived ; for the state was denied the 
one by murder, 5 the other 6 by his own character. 
And in scarcely any case did that revered name 7 long 
or creditably survive. Indeed, when I reflect on the 
matter, Diocletian Augustus, it is quite clear to me 

historians of the later period (e.g., Victor, Caes., xxi., 3). It 
is not only untrue, but it contradicts the statement of Sev., 
iii. 9 and iv. 2. 

5 Geta, murdered in 212 ; see note to c. xxi. 7. 

6 Bassianus. 7 i.e., Antoninus. 



magnorum virorum optimum et utilem filium reliquisse 

5 satis claret, denique aut sine liberis veris 1 interieruut 

aut tales habuerunt plerique, ut melius fuerit de 

XXI. rebus humanis sine posteritate discedere. et ut 

ordiamur a Romulo, hie nihil liberorum reliquit, ni- 

hil Numa Pompilius, quod utile posset esse rei 

publicae. quid Camillus ? num sui similes liberos 

habuit ? quid Scipio ? quid Catones qui magni 

2 fuerunt ? iam vero quid de Homero, Demosthene, 
Vergilio, Crispo, Terentio, 2 Plauto ceterisque aliis 
loquar ? quid de Caesare ? quid de Tullio, cui soli 

3 melius fuerat liberos non habere ? quid de Augusto, 
qui nee adoptivum bonum filium habuit, cum illi 
eligendi potestas fuisset ex omnibus ? falsus est etiam 
ipse Traianus in suo municipe ac nepote deligendo. 

4sed ut omittamus adoptivos, ne nobis Antonini Pius 
et Marcus, numina rei publicae, occurrant, veniamus 

5 ad genitos. quid Marco felicius fuisset, si Commodum 

6 non reliquisset heredem ? quid Severo Septimio, 
si Bassianum nee genuisset ? qui statim insimulatum 
fratrem insidiarum contra se cogitatarum parricidali 

7 etiam figmento interemit ; qui novercam suam et 
quid novercam ? matrem quin immo, in cuius sinu 

sGetam filium eius occiderat, uxorem duxit ; qui 

1 ueris Salmasius ; uiri P. 3 So Peter ; et Terentio P. 

1 Scipio Africanus, the younger, who seems to have left 
no children. 

2 C. Sallustius Crispus, the historian. 

3 Cicero's sou had none of his father's ability ; he had, 
moreover, a bad reputation for drunkenness. 

4 Hadrian. This sentiment represents the tradition hostile 
to Hadrian which grew up after his death as a result of the 
enmity felt for him by some of the senators. 



that practically no great man has left the world a son 
of real excellence or value. In short, most of them 
either died without issue of their own, or had such 
children that it would have been better for humanity 
had they departed without offspring. XXI. As for 
Romulus, to begin with him, he left no children who 
might have proved useful to the state, nor did Numa 
Pompilius. What of Camillus? Did he have chil- 
dren like himself? What of Scipio? l What of the 
Catos, who were so distinguished ? Indeed, for that 
matter, what shall I say of Homer, Demosthenes, 
Vergil, Crispus, 2 Terence, Plautus, and such as they ? 
What of Caesar ? What of Tully ? for whom, par- 
ticularly, it had been better had he had no son. 3 
What of Augustus, who could not get a worthy son 
even by adoption, though he had the whole world to 
choose from ? Even Trajan was deceived when he 
chose for his heir his fellow-townsman and nephew. 4 
But let us except sons by adoption, lest our thoughts 
turn to those two guardian spirits of the state, Pius 
and Marcus Antoninus, and let us proceed to sons by 
birth. What could have been more fortunate for 
Marcus than not to have left Commodus as his heir? 
What more fortunate for Septimius Severus than 
not to have even begotten Bassianus ? a man who 
speedily charged his brother with contriving plots 
against him a murderous falsehood and put him to 
death ; who took his own stepmother to wife 5 step- 
mother did I say ? nay rather the mother on whose 
bosom he had slain Geta, her son ; 6 who slew, because 

5 See note to c. xviii. 8. 

6 See Carac., ii. 4, and, for a detailed description of the 
murder, Dio, Ixxvii. 2. 



Papinianum, iuris asylum et doctrinae legalis l 
thesaurum, quod parricidium excusare noluisset, oc- 
cidit, et praefectum quidem, ne homini per se et per 
9scientiam suam magno deesset et dignitas. denique, 
ut alia omittam, ex huius moribus factum puto, ut 2 
Severus tristior vir ad omnia, immo etiam crudelior 

10 plus et dignus deorum altaribus duceretur. qui 
quidem divinam 3 Sallustii orationem, qua Micipsa 
filios ad pacem hortatur, ingravatus morbo misisse 
filio dicitur maiori. idque frustra 4 . . . et hominem 

lltantum valitudine. vixit denique in odio populi diu 
Antoninus, nomenque illud sanctum diu minus 
amatum est, quamvis et vestimenta populo dederit, 
unde Caracallus est dictus, et thermas magnificentis- 

12simas fecerit. exstat sane Romae Severi porticus 
gesta eius exprimens a filio, quantum plurimi decent, 

XXII. Signa mortis eius haec fuerunt : ipse som- 
niavit quattuor aquilis et gemmato curru praevolante 
nescio qua ingenti humana specie ad caelum esse rap- 
turn ; cumque raperetur, octoginta et novem numeros 
explicuisse, ultra quot annos ne urium quidem annum 

2 vixit, nam ad imperium senex venit. cumque positus 

1 regalis P. 2 om. in P. 3 diu immo P. 4 frusta 
P ; lacuna est. by Casaubon. 

1 See Carac., iv. 1 and viii. 3 Sallust, Jugurtha, x. 

3 See Carac.. ix. 7. 4 See Carac., ix. 4 . 



he refused to absolve him of his brother's murder, 1 
Papinian, a sanctuary of law and treasure-house of 
jurisprudence, who had been raised to the office of 
prefect that a man who had become illustrious through 
his own efforts and his learning might not lack 
official rank. In short, not to mention other things, 
I believe that it was because of this man's character 
that Severus, a gloomier man in every way, nay even 
a crueller one, was considered righteous and worthy 
of the worship of a god. Once indeed, it is said, 
Severus, when laid low by sickness, sent to his elder 
son that divine speech in Sallust in which Micipsa 
urges his sons to the ways of peace. 2 In vain, how- 
ever. . . . For a long time, finally, the people hated 
Antoninus, and that venerable name was long less 
beloved, even though he gave the people clothing 
(whence he got his name Caracallus 3 ) and built the 
most splendid baths. 4 There is a colonnade of Severus 
at Rome, 5 I might mention, depicting his exploits, 
which was built by his son, or so most men say. 

XXII. The death o,f Severus was foreshadowed by 
the following events : he himself dreamed that he was 
snatched up to the heavens in a jewelled car drawn by 
four eagles, whilst some vast shape, I know not what, 
but resembling a man, flew on before. And while he 
was being snatched up, he counted out the numbers 
eighty and nine, 6 and beyond this number of years 
he did not live so much as one, for he was an old man 
when he came to the throne. And then, after he 

"Also mentioned in Carac., ix. 6. Its site is unknown. 

6 This same number of the years of his life is given in Pesc. 
Nig., v. 1, but it is in direct contradiction with the positive 
statement in c. i. 3 that he was born in 146. According to 
Dio's computation, he was born in 145 ; see Ixxvi. 17, 4. 



esset in circulo ingenti aereo, diu solus et destitutus 
stetit, cum vereretur autem, ne praeceps rueret, a 
love se vocatum vidit atque inter Antoninos locatum. 

3 die circensium cum tres Victoriolae more solito essent 
locatae gypseae cum palmis, media, quae ipsius 
nomine adscriptum orbem tenebat, vento icta de 
podio stans decidit et humi constitit ; at quae Getae 
nomine inscripta erat, corruit et omnis conminuta 
est ; ilia vero quae Bassiani titulum praeferebat, 

4 amissa palma venti turbine vix constitit. post murum 
apud Luguvallum visum l in Britannia cum ad proxi- 
mam mansionem rediret non solum victor sed etiam 
in aeternum pace fundata, volvens 2 animo quid 
ominis sibi occurreret, Aethiops quidam e numero 
militari, clarae inter scurras famae et celebratorum 
semper iocorum, cum corona e cupressu facta eidem 

5 occurrit. quern cum ille iratus removeri ab oculis 
praecepisset, et coloris eius tactus omine 3 et coronae, 
dixisse ille dicitur ioci causa : " Totum fuisti, 4 totum 

6 vicisti, iam deus esto victor ". et in civitatem veniens 
cum rem divinam vellet facere, primum ad Bellonae 
templum ductus est errore haruspicis rustici, deinde 

J So Peter 2 ; maurum apud uallum missum P, Peter 1 . 
* nolens P 1 . 3 hominis P 1 . 4 fuisti P, Peter 1 ; fudisti 

Hirschfeld, Peter 2 . 

1 The podium was a platform close to the arena, occupied 
by members of the imperial family. 

2 Now Carlisle. :< Cf. c. xviii. 11. 



had been placed in a huge circle in the air, for a long 
time he stood alone and desolate, until finally, when 
he began to fear that he might fall headlong, he saw 
himself summoned by Jupiter and placed among the 
Antonines. Again, on the day of the circus-games, 
when three plaster figures of Victory were set up in 
the customary way, with palms in their hands, the 
one in the middle, which held a sphere inscribed 
with his name, struck by a gust of wind, fell down 
from the balcony l in an upright position and re- 
mained on the ground in this posture ; while the one 
on which Geta's name was inscribed was dashed down 
and completely shattered, and the one which bore 
Bassianus' name lost its palm and barely managed 
to keep its place, such was the whirling of the 
wind. On another occasion, when he was return- 
ing to his nearest quarters from an inspection of the 
wall at Luguvallum 2 in Britain, at a time when he had 
not only proved victorious but had concluded a per- 
petual peace, just as he was wondering what omen 
would present itself, an Ethiopian soldier, who was 
famous among buffoons and always a notable jester, 
met him with a garland of cypress-boughs. And when 
Severus in a rage ordered that the man be removed 
from his sight, troubled as he was by the man's 
ominous colour and the ominous nature of the gar- 
land, the Ethiopian by way of jest cried, it is said, 
" You have been all things, 3 you have conquered all 
things, now, O conqueror, be a god". And when on 
reaching the town he wished to perform a sacrifice, 
in the first place, through a misunderstanding on the 
part of the rustic soothsayer, he was taken to the 
Temple of Bellona, and, in the second place, the 
victims provided him were black. And then, when 



jhostiae furvae sunt adplicitae. quod cum esset as- 
pernatus atque ad Palatium se reciperet, neglegeutia 
ministrorum nigrae hostiae et usque ad limen domus 
Palatinae imperatorem secutae sunt. 

XXIII. Sunt per plurimas civitates opera eius in- 
signia, magnum vero illud in vita l eius, quod Romae 
omnes aedes publicas, quae vitio temporum labeban- 
tur, instauravit nusquam prope suo nomine adscripto, 

2 servatis tamen ubique titulis conditorum. moriens 
septem annorum canonem, ita ut cotidiana septuaginta 
quinque milia modium expendi possent, reliquit ; olei 
vero tantum, ut per quinquennium non solum urbis 2 
usibus, sed et totius Italiae, quae oleo eget, sufficeret. 

3 Ultima verba eius dicuntur haec fuisse : " Turbatam 
rem publicam ubique accepi, pacatam etiam Bri- 
tannis relinquo, senex et pedibus aeger firmum im- 
perium Antoninis meis relinquens, si boni erunt, 

4 imbecillum, si mali ". iussit deinde signum tribuno 
dari "laboremus," quia Pertinax, quando in imperium 

5 adscitus est, signum dederat " militemus ". Fortunam 
deinde regiam, quae comitari principes et in cubi- 
culis poni solebat, geminare statuerat,ut sacratissimum 

6 simulacrum utrique relinqueret filiorum ; sed cum 
videret se perurgueri sub hora mortis, iussisse fertur 

1 uita Salmasius; ciuitate P. 2 urbis add. by Egnatius, 
om. in P. 

1 t.e., the imperial residence in the provincial town. 

2 Cf . c. viii. 5. 3 See c. xviii. 3. 

4 See Pert., v. 7. 5 See Pius, xii. 5. 



he abandoned the sacrifice in disgust and betook 
himself to the Palace, 1 through some carelessness oil 
the part of the attendants the black victims followed 
him up to its very doors. 

XXIII. In many communities there are public 
buildings erected by him which are famous, but par- 
ticularly noteworthy among the achievements of his 
life was the restoration of all the public sanctuaries 
in Rome, which were then falling to ruin through 
the passage of time. And seldom did he inscribe 
his own name on these restorations or fail to preserve 
the names of those who built them. At his death he 
left a surplus of grain to the amount of seven years' 
tribute, 2 or enough to distribute seventy-five thousand 
pecks a day, and so much oil, 3 indeed, that for five 
years there was plenty for the uses, not only of the 
city, but also for as much of Italy as was in need 
of it. 

His last words, it is said, were these : " The state, 
when I received it, was harassed on every side ; I 
leave it at peace, even in Britain ; old now and 
with crippled feet, I bequeath to my two Antonini 
an empire which is strong, if they prove good, feeble, 
if they prove bad". After this, he issued orders to 
give the tribune the watchword "Let us toil," be- 
cause Pertinax, when he assumed the imperial power, 
had given the word " Let us be soldiers". 4 He then 
ordered a duplicate made of the royal statue of For- 
tune which was customarily carried about with the 
emperors and placed in their bedrooms, 5 in order that 
he might leave this most holy statue to each of his 
sons ; but later, when he realized that the hour of 
death was upon him, he gave instructions, they say, 
that the original should be placed in the bed-chambers 



ut alternis diebus apud filios imperatores in cubiculis 
7 Fortuna poneretur. quod Bassianus prius contempsit 
quam faceret parricidium. 

XXIV. Corpus eius a Britannia Romam usque cum 

2 magna provincialium reverentia susceptum est ; quam- 
vis aliqui urnulam auream tantum fuisse dicant Severi 
reliquias continentem eandemque Antoninorum sepul- 
chro inlatam, cum Septimius illic ubi vita functus est 
esset incensus. 

3 Cum Septizonium l faceret, nihil aliud cogitavit, 
quam ut ex Africa venientibus suum opus occurreret. 

4 nisi absente eo per 2 praefectum urbis medium simu- 
lacrum eius esset locatum, aditum Palatinis aedibus, 
id est regium atrium, ab ea parte facere voluisse per- 

Shibetur. quod etiam post Alexander cum vellet 
facere, ab haruspicibus dicitur esse prohibitus, cum 
hoc sciscitans non litasset. 

1 septisodium P, Peter 2 . 2 absente opcre P. 

J It was made of porphyry according to Dio, Ixxvi. 15, 4, of 
alabaster, according to Herodian, iii. 15, 7. 



of each of his sons, the co-emperors, on alternate 
days. As for this direction, Bassianus ignored it and 
then murdered his brother. 

XXIV. His body was borne from Britain to Rome, 
and was everywhere received by the provincials with 
profound reverence. Some men say, however, that 
only a golden urn l containing Severus' ashes was so 
conveyed, and that this was laid in the tomb of the 
Antonines, 2 while Septimius himself was cremated 
where he died. 

When he built the Septizonium 3 he had no other 
thought than that his building should strike the eyes 
of those who came to Rome from Africa. It is said 
that he wished to make an entrance on this side 
of the Palatine mansion the royal dwelling, that is 
and he would have done so had not the prefect of 
the city planted his statue in the centre of it while 
he was away. Afterwards Alexander 4 wished to 
carry out this plan, but he, it is said, was prevented 
by the soothsayers, for on making inquiry he ob- 
tained unfavourable omens. 

2 See c. xix. 3 and note. 3 See c. xix. 5 and note. 

4 i.e., Severus Alexander, the emperor. 




I. Rarum atque difficile est ut, quos l tyrannos ali- 
orum victoria fecerit, bene mittantur in litteras, atque 
ideo vix omnia de his plene in monumentis atque an- 

2 nalibus habentur. primum enim, quae magna sunt in 
eorum honorem ab scriptoribus depravantur, deinde 
alia supprimuntur, postremo non magna diligentia in 
eorum genere ac vita requiritur, cum satis sit auda- 
ciam eorum et bellum, in quj victi fuerint, ac poenam 

3 Pescennius ergo Niger, ut alii tradunt, modicis pa- 
rentibus, ut alii, nobilibus fuisse dicitur, patre Annio 
Fusco, matre Lampridia, avo curatore Aquini, ex quo 2 
familia originem ducebat ; quod quidem dubium 

4etiam nunc habetur. hie eruditus mediocriter 

litteris, 3 moribus ferox, divitiis inmodicus, vita parcus, 

slibidinis effrenatae ad omne genus cupiditatum. or- 

1 quod P. 2 quo Gloss ; qua P, Peter. 

3 Litteris Peter from 2 ; om. in P. 

1 See note to Marc., xi. 2. 




I. It is an unusual task and a difficult one to set 
down fairly in writing the lives of men who, through 
other men's victories, remained mere pretenders, 
and for this reason not all the facts concerning such 
men are preserved in our records and histories in full. 
For, in the first place, notable events that redound 
to their honour are distorted by historians ; other 
events, in the second place, are suppressed ; and, in 
the third place, no great care is bestowed upon in- 
quiries into their ancestry and life, since it seems 
sufficient to recount their presumption, the battle in 
which they were overcome, and the punishment they 

Pescennius Niger, then, was born of humble 
parentage, according to some, of noble, according 
to others. His father was Annius Fuscus, his mother 
Lampridia. His grandfather was the supervisor of 
Aquinum, 1 the town to which the family sought to 
trace its origin, though the fact is even now con- 
sidered doubtful. As for Pescennius himself, he was 
passably well versed in literature, savage in disposi- 
tion, immoderately wealthy, thrifty in his habits, 
and unbridled in indulgence in every manner of 



dines diu duxit multisque ducatibus pervenit, ut 
exercitus Syriacos iussu Commodi regeret, suffragio 
maxime athletae qui Commodum strangulavit, ut 
omnia tune fiebant. 

II. Is postquam comperit occisum Commodum, 
lulianum imperatorem appellatum eundemque iussu 
Severi et senatus occisum, Albinum etiam in Gallia 
sumpsisse nomen et ius l imperatoris, ab exercitibus 
Syriacis, quos regebat, appellatus est imperator, ut 
quidam dicunt, magis in luliani odium quam in aemula- 
2tionem Severi. huic ob detestationem luliani primis 
imperii diebus ita Romae fautum est, a senatoribus 
dumtaxat, qui et Severum oderant, ut inter lapida- 
tiones exsecrationesque omnium illi feliciter optaretur, 
"ilium principem superi et ilium Augustum " popu-^ 

3 Ius adclamaret. lulianum autem oderant populares, 
quod Pertinacem milites occidissent et ilium impera- 
torem adversa populi voluntate appellassent. denique 

4 ingentes ob hoc seditiones fuerunt. ad occidendum 
autem Nigrum primipilarem lulianus miserat, stulte 
ad eum qui haberet exercitus et 2 se tueri 3 posset ; 
proinde quasi qualis libet imperator a primipilario 

l et ius Salmasius, Lenze ; eius P; eius del. by Peter. 
2 om. in P. 3 seueri P. 

1 But see c. vi. 6, where the contrary is stated emphatically. 

2 As chief centurion ; see note to Avid. Cass., i. 1. 

3 The posts are referred to in the letter in c. iv. 4, as mili- 
tary tribuneships, and although this letter, like the others in 
the Historia Augusta, is fictitious, its statement in this in- 
stance is nearer the truth than that of the present sentence. 

4 See Com., xvii. 2. 

8 As a matter of fact, this happened after Niger's revolt; 
see Sev., x. 1 and notes. 



passion. 1 For a long time he commanded in the 
ranks, 2 and finally, after holding many generalships, 3 
he reached the point where Commodus named him 
to command the armies in Syria, chiefly on the 
recommendation of the athlete who afterward 
strangled Commodus ; 4 for so, at that time, were all 
appointments made. 

II. And now, after he learned that Commodus had 
been murdered, that Julianus had been declared 
emperor, and then, by order of Severus and the senate, 
put to death, and that Albinus, furthermore, had as- 
sumed in Gaul -the name and power of emperor, 5 
Pescennius was hailed imperator by the armies he 
commanded in Syria ; though more out of aversion 
to Julianus, some say, than in rivalry of Severus. 
Even before this, during the first days of Julianus' 
reign, because of the dislike felt for the Emperor, 
Pescennius was so favoured at Rome, that even the 
senators, who hated Severus also, prayed for his suc- 
cess, while with showers of stones and general 
execrations 6 the commons shouted " May the gods 
preserve him as Emperor, and him as Augustus". 
For the mob hated Julianus because the soldiers had 
slain Pertinax and declared Julianus emperor con- 
trary to their wishes ; and there was violent rioting 
on this account. Julianus, for his part, had sent a 
senior centurion to assassinate Niger' 7 a piece of 
folly, since the attempt was made against one who 
led an army and could protect himself, and as though, 
forsooth, any sort of emperor could be slain by a re- 
tired centurion ! With equal madness he sent out a 

6 See Did. JuL, iv. 3 f. 

7 Of. Did. Jul., v. 1 ; Sev., v. 8. 



5 posset occidi. eadem autem dementia etiam Severn 

6 iara principi lulianus successorem miserat. denique 
etiam Aquilium centurionem noturn caedibus ducum 
miserat, quasi iniperator tantus a centurione posset 

7 occidi. par denique insania fuit, quod cum Severe 
ex interdicto de imperio egisse fertur, ut iure videre- 
tur principatum praevenisse. 

III. Et de Pescennio Nigro iudicium populi ex eo 
apparuit, quod, cum ludos circenses lulianus Romae 
daret, et indiscrete subsellia l Circi Maximi repleta 
essent, ingentique iniuria populi - adfectus esset, per 
onmes uno cousensu Pescennius Niger ad tutelam 
urbis est expetitus, odio, ut diximus, luliari et amore 

2 occisi Pertinacis ; cum quidem lulianus dixisse fertur 
neque sibi neque Pescennio longum imperium deberi, 
sed Severe, qui magis esset odio habendus a senatori- 
bus, militibus, provincialibus, popularibus. quod 
probavit rei eveutus. 

3 Et Pescennius quidem Severo eo tempore quo 
Lugdunensem provinciam regebat amicissimus fuit ; 

4nam ipse missus erat ad comprehendendos desertores, 

5 qui innumeri Gallias tune vexabant. in quo officio 
quod se honeste gessit, iucundissimus fuit Severo, ita 
ut de eo ad Commodum Septimius referret, adserens 

6 necessarium rei publicae virum. et revera in re 

1 se subsellia P. 2 populi Kellerbauer ; populus P, Peter. 

1 Cf. Did. Jul., v. 7-8 ; Sev., v. 8. 
*CLDid.Jid.,iv.7. 3 Cf. c. ii. 2. 

4 Cf. Set., iii. 8. 5 See Com., xvi. 2 and note. 


successor for Severus when Severus had already be- 

come emperor ; and lastly he sent the centurion 
Aquilius, 1 notorious as an assassin of generals, as if 
such an emperor could be slain by a centurion ! It 
was similarly an act of insanity that he. according: to 


report, dealt -with Seyerus by issuing a proclamation 
forbidding him to seize the imperial power, so that 
he might seem to haye established a prior claim to 
the empire by process of law ! 

III. What the people thought of Pescennius Niger 
is eyident from the following : when Julianus gaye 
circus-games at Rome, the people filled the seats of 
the Circus Maximus without distinction of rank, as- 
sailed him with much abuse, and then with one accord 
called for Pescennius Niger to protect the city- 
partly out of hatred for Julianus. as we haye said. 3 
and partly out of love for the slain Pertinax. On this 
occasion Julianus is reported to haye said that neither 
he himself nor Pescennius was destined to rule for 
long, but rather Seyerus. though he it was who was 
more worthy of hatred from the senator^, the soldiers, 
the provincials and the city-mob. And this proyed 
to be the case. 

Now Pescennius was on yery friendly terms with 


Seyerus at the time that the latter was governor of 
the province of Lugdunensis. 4 For he was sent to 
apprehend a body of deserters who were then 
ravaging Gaul in great numbers, 5 and because he con- 
ducted himself in this task with credit, he gained 
the esteem of Severus, so much so, in fact, that the 
latter wrote to Commodus about him, and averred 
that he was a man indispensable to the state. And 
he was, indeed, a strict man in all things military. 

No soldier under his command ever forced a provincial 


militari vehemens fuit. numquam sub eo miles pro- 
7 vinciali lignum, oleum, operam extorsit. ipse a 

milite nihil accepit. cum tribunatus ageret. nihil ac- 
S cipi passus est. nam et imperator iam l tribunes 

duos, quos constitit stellaturas accepisse, lapidibus 

obrui ab auxiliaribus iussit. 
9 Exstat epistuia Severi, qua scribit ad Ragonium 

Celsum Gallias regentem : "' Miserum est ut imitari 

eius disciplinam militarem non possimus 2 quern per 

10 bellum vicimus. milites tui vagantur, tribuni medio 
die lavant, pro tricliniis popinas habent, pro cubiculis 
meritoria ; saltant, bibunt, 3 cantant, et mensuras con- 
viviorum hoc vocant cum sine mensura potarunt. 4 

11 haec, si ulla vena 5 paternae disciplinae viveret, 
fierent ? emenda igitur primum tribunes, delude 
militem. quern, quamdiu timuerit, tamdiu tenebis. 6 

12 sed scias idque de Nigro, militem timere non posse, 
IV. nisi integri fuerint tribuni et duces militum." haec 

de Pescennio Severus Augustus. 

De hoc " adhuc milite Marcus Antoninus ad Corne- 
lium Balbum : " Pescennium mihi laudas, agnosco ; 
nam et decessor tuus eum manu strenuum, vita 

perator iam P corr., Peter ; imp-:raiorium P 1 . *pos- 
3 uiitent P. 4 hoc uocant cum s. m. potarunt 
Editor ; uocant cum hoc s. m. potare P ; uocant ilh hoc s. m. 
potare Peter. 5 uanaP. nuerit . . . tenebis Pet- 

schenig. cf. Hohl, Klio, siii., p. 143; timueris . . . tinubis 
P ; <jion^> timueris t. timeberis Peter. " de hoc om. in P. 

1 These were prohibited at this time (see also AUx., xv. 5), 


to give him fuel, oil, or service. He himself never 
accepted any presents from a soldier, and when 
he served as tribune he would not allow any to be 
accepted. Even as emperor, when two tribunes 
were proved to have made deductions from the 
soldiers' rations, 1 he ordered the auxiliaries to stone 

There is extant a letter written by Severus to 
Ragonius Celsus, who was then governor of Gaul 2 : 
" It is a pity that we cannot imitate the military 
discipline of this man whom we have overcome in 
war. For your soldiers go straggling on all sides ; 
the tribunes bathe in the middle of the day ; they 
have cook-shops for mess-halls and, instead of bar- 
racks, brothels ; they dance, they drink, they sing, 
and they regard as the proper limit to a banquet un- 
limited drinking. How, pray, if any traces of our an- 
cestral discipline still remained, could these things 
be ? So then, first reform the tribunes, and then 
the rank and file. For as long as these fear you, so 
long will you hold them in check. But learn from 
Niger this also, that the soldiers cannot be made to 
fear you unless the tribunes and generals are ir- 
reproachable." IV. Thus did Severus Augustus write 
about Pescennius. 

While Pescennius was still in the ranks, Marcus 
Antoninus wrote thus to Cornelius Balbus about him : 
" You sound the praises of Pescennius to me, and I 
recognize the man ; for your predecessor also declared 
that he was vigorous in action, dignified in demeanour, 

but at a later period they were recognized by law; see Cod. 
Just., xii. 38, 12. 

2 On the authenticity of such letters as the following see 
note to Avid. Cass., i. 6. 



2gravem, et iam turn plus quam militem dixit. itaque 
misi litteras recitandas ad signa, quibus eum trecentis 
Armeniis et centum Sarmatis et raille nostris praeesse 

Siussi. tuum est ostendere hominem non ambitione, 
quod nostris non convenit moribus, sed virtute venisse 
ad eum locum quern avus meus Hadrianus, quern 
Traianus proavus non nisi exploratissimis dabat." 

4 De hoc eodem Commodus : " Pescennium fortem 
virum novi et ei tribunatus iam duos dedi ; ducatum 
mox dabo, ubi per senectutem Aelius Corduenus rem 

5 publicani recusaverit ". haec de eo iudicia omnium 
fuerunt. sed et l Severus ipse saepe dixit ignotu- 
rum se Pescennio, nisi perseveraret. 

6 A Commodo denique Pescennius consul declaratus 
Severe praepositus est, et quidem irato, quod primi- 
pilaribus commendantibus consulatum Niger merere- 

7tur. in vita sua Severus dicit se, priusquam filii sui 
id aetatis haberent ut imperare possent, aegrotantem 
id in animo habuisse, ut, si quid forte sibi accidisset, 
Niger Pescennius eodem et Clodius Albinus succe- 
derent, qui ambo Severo gravissimi hostes exstiterunt. 

8 unde apparet, quod etiam Severi de Pescennio iudicium 

V. fuerit. si Severo credimus, fuit gloriae cupidus 

Niger, vita fictus, moribus turpis, aetatis provectae, 

cum in imperium invasit. ex quo cupiditates eius 

1 se seuerus P. 

1 See c. i. 5 and note. 2 Of. c. v. 8 ; Sev., viii. 15. 

8 Prior to 189, in which year Severus seems to have been 
consul; see Sev., iv. 4. 
4 See note to Sev., iii. 2. 



and even then more than a common soldier. Ac- 
cordingly, I have sent letters to be read at review in 
which I have ordered him placed in command of 
three hundred Armenians, one hundred Sarmatians, 
and a thousand of our own troops. It is your place 
to show that the man has attained, not by intrigue, 
which is displeasing to our principles, but by merit, 
to a post which my grandfather Hadrian and my great- 
grandfather Trajan gave to none but the most 
thoroughly tried." 

Again. Commodus said of this same man : " I know 

O ^ 

Pescennius for a brave man, and I have already made 
him tribune twice. 1 Presently, when advancing 
years shall make Aelius Corduenus retire from public 
life, I will make him a general." Such were the 
opinions that all men had of him. And in truth 
Severus himself frequently declared that he would 
have pardoned him had he not persisted. 2 

Finally, Commodus appointed him consul, 3 and ad- 
vanced him thereby over Severus, greatly indeed to 
the latter's wrath, since he thought that Niger had 
gained the consulship on the recommendation of the 
senior centurions. Yet in his autobiography 4 Severus 
says that on one occasion, when he had fallen sick 
and his sons had not yet reached an age when they 
could rule, he intended, if anything by any chance 
should happen to him, to appoint Pescennius Niger 
and Clodius Albinus as his heirs to the throne, even 
these two men who in time became his bitterest 
enemies. From this it is evident what Severus thought 
of Pescennius. V. But if we may believe Severus, 
Niger was greedy for glory, hypocritical in his mode 
of life, base in morals, and well advanced in years 
when he attempted to seize the empire for which 



incusat, proinde quasi Severus minor ad imperium 
venerit, qui annos suos contrahit, cum decem et octo 
annis imperavit et octogensimo nono periit. 

2 Sane Severus Heraclitum ad obtinendam Bithyniam 
misit, Fulvium autem ad occupandos adultos Nigri 

3 filios. nee tamen in senatum quicquam de Nigro 
Severus dixit, cum iam audisset de eius imperio, ipse 
autem proficisceretur ad componendum orientis 

4 statum. tantum 1 sane illud fecit proficiscens, ut 
legiones ad Africam mitteret, ne earn Pescennius oc- 
cuparet et fame populum Romanum perurgueret. 

5 videbatur 2 autem id facere posse per Libyam 
Aegyptumque vicinas Africae, difficili licet itinere ac 

6 navigatione. et Pescennius quidem veniente ad 
orientem Severe Graeciam, Thracias, Macedonian!, 
interfectis multis inlustribus viris tenebat, ad p irtici- 

7 patum imperii Severum vocans. a quo, causa eorum 
quos occiderat, cum Aemiliano hostis est appellatus. 
dein a ducibus Severi per Aemilianum pugnans victus 

8 est. et cum illi tutum exsilium promitteret, si ab 
armis recederet, persistens iterum pugnavit et victus 
est atque apud Cyzicum circa paludem fugiens 
sauciatus, et sic ad Severum adductus atque statim 

1 tantum sane illud P ; Tantum sane ille Damste ; statum 
tantum. sane illud Peter 1 ; statum nutantem. sane illud 
Petschenig, Peter 2 . 2 uidebatur Peter ; et uidebatur P. 

1 See Sev., xxii. 1 and note. 

2 See Sev., vi. 10 and notes. 3 Cf. Sev., viii. 7. 

4 On Niger's revolt see Sev., viii. 12 f. and notes. 
'Near Nicaea in Bithynia; see note to Sev., viii. 17. 



reason Severus inveighs against his ambition, just 
as if he himself came to the throne young ! For 
though he understated the number of his years, 
after ruling eighteen years he died at the age of 
eighty -nine. 1 

Now Severus dispatched Heraclitus to secure 
Bithynia and Fulvius to seize Niger's adult children. 2 
Nevertheless, although he had already heard that 
Niger had seized the empire, and although he him- 
self was on the point of setting out to remedy the 
situation in the East, he made no mention of Niger 
in the senate. In fact, on setting out, he did only July, 19J 
this namely, send troops to Africa, fearing that 
Niger would seize it and thereby distress the Roman 
people with a famine. 3 For such a plan was pos- 
sible of accomplishment, it seemed, by way of Libya 
and Egypt, the provinces adjacent to Africa, for all 
that it was no easy journey either by land or 
sea. As for Pescennius, 4 he slew a multitude of 
distinguished men and got control of Greece, 
Thrace, and Macedonia, while Severus was still on 
his way to the East. He then proposed to Severus 
that they two share the throne between them ; 
whereupon Severus, because of the men whom Niger 
had slain, declared him and Aemilianus enemies to 
the state. Soon after, Niger gave battle under the 
leadership of Aemilianus and suffered defeat from 
Severus' generals. Even then, Severus promised him 
safety in exile if he would lay down his arms. 
Niger, however, persisted and gave battle a second 
time, but was defeated 3 ; and in his flight while near 
the lake at Cyzicus he was wounded and was thus 
brought before Severus, and presently he was dead. 
VI. His head was paraded on a pike and then sent 



VI. mortuus. huius caput circumlatum pilo Romam 

missum, filii occisi, necata uxor, patrimonium publi- 

2catum, familia omnis exstincta. sed haec omnia, 

postquam de Albini rebellione cognitum est, facta 

sunt ; nam prius et filios Nigri et inatrem in exsilium 

3 miserat. sed exarsit secundo civili bello, immo iam 

4 tertio, et factus est durior ; tune cum innumeros sena- 
tores interemit Severus et ab aliis Sullae Punici, ab 
aliis Marii nomen accepit. 

5 Fuit statura prolixa, forma decorus, capillo in verti- 
cem ad gratiam reflexo, vocis canorae, ita ut in 
campo loquens per mille passus audiretur, nisi ventus 
adversaretur, oris verecuiidi et semper rubidi, cervice 
adeo nigra, ut, quem ad modum multi dicunt, ab ea 

6 Nigri nomen acceperit, cetera corporis parte candidus 
et magis pinguis, vini avidus, cibi parcus, rei veneriae 

7 nisi ad creandos liberos prorsus ignarus. denique 
etiam sacra quaedam in Gallia, quae semper 1 castissimis 
decernunt consensu publico celebranda, suscepit. 

Shunc in Commodianis hortis in porticu curva pictum 
de musivo 2 inter Commodi amicissimos videmus sacra 

9 Isidis ferentem ; quibus Commodus adeo deditus fuit, 
ut et caput raderet et Anubin portaret et omnis 
pausas 3 expleret. 

l quae semper Editor ; qua se P ; t qua se Peter. 2 
P, Peter. 3 pausas Gruter ; paucas P. 


1 See Sev., x. 1. 2 The revolt of Albinus. 

3 See Sev., xiii. 

4 An allusion to the proscriptions of Marius and Sulla. 
According to Dio, Ixxv. 8, 1, Severus in a speech to the senate 
praised their severity. He is called " Punic" because he 
came from Africa. 



to Rome. His children were put to death, his wife 
was murdered, his estates were confiscated, and his 
entire household utterly blotted out. All this, how- 
ever, was done after news of the revolt of Albinus 
was received, 1 for before that Niger's children and 
their mother had merely been sent into exile. But 
Severus was exasperated by the second civil war, or 
rather the third, 2 and became implacable ; and it was 
then that he put countless senators to death 3 and 
got himself called by some the Punic Sulla, by others 
the Punic Marius. 4 

In stature Niger was tall, in appearance attractive ; 
and his hair grew back in a graceful way toward the 
crown of his head. His voice was so penetrating 
that when he spoke in the open he could be heard a 
thousand paces away, if the wind were not against 
him. His countenance was dignified and always 
somewhat ruddy ; his neck was so black that many 
men say that he was called Niger on this account. 
The rest of his body, however, was very white and 
he was inclined to be fat. He was fond of wine, 
sparing in his use of food, and as for intercourse with 
women, he abstained from it wholly save for the pur- 
pose of begetting children. 5 Indeed, certain religious 
rites in Gaul, which they always by common consent 
vote to the most chaste to celebrate, Niger himself 
performed. On the rounded colonnade in the garden 
of Commodus he is to be seen pictured in the mosaic 
among Commodus' most intimate friends and per- 
forming the rites of Isis. 6 To these rites Commodus 
was so devoted as even to shave his head, carry the 
image of Anubis, and make every one of the ritual- 
istic pauses in the procession. 

5 But see c. i. 4. 6 See Cow., ix. 3 f. 



10 Fuit ergo miles optimus, tribunus singularis, dux 
praecipuus, legatus severissimus, consul insignis, vir 
domi forisque conspicuus, imperator infelix ; usui 
denique rei publicae sub Severo, homine tetrico, esse 
VII. potuisset, si cum eo esse voluisset. sed deceptus est 
consiliis scaevis 1 Aureliani, qui alias suas eius filiis 
despondens persistere eum fecit in imperio. 

2 Hie tantae fuit auctoritatis, ut ad Marcum primum 
deinde ad Commodum scriberet. cum videret pro- 
vincias facili administrationum mutatione subverti, 
primum ut nulli ante quinquennium succederetur pro- 
vinciae praesidi vel legato vel proconsuli, quod prius 
deponerent potestatem quam scirent administrare. 

3 deinde ne novi ad regendam rem publicam accederent 
praeter militares administrationes intimavit, ut as- 
sessores in quibus provinciis adsedissent, in his 

4 administrarent. quod postea Severus et deinceps 
multi tenuerunt, ut probant Pauli et Ulpiani prae- 
fecturae, qui Papiniano in consilio fuerunt ac postea, 
cum unus ad memoriam, alter ad libellos paruisset, 

- masms ; sceui P. 

1 On the distinction see note to Hadr., iii. 9. 

'The csfessores (also called consiliarii), the governor's 
e-pecial . its in all matters pertaining to the adminis- 

tration of justice, ut bj him at trials (hence the name) and 
rive him advice in legal matters. On this office see Digetta, 
i. 22. 

8 In his capacity as prefect of the guard. These three men 
were the famous jurists constantly cited in the Digesta. 

4 Tne3e two offi:: ; : r^'her with three others, the secre- 
tary of the emperor (ab epistulis. see Hadr., xL 3), the secretary 
for the imperial trials (a cognitionibus), and the emperor's 



As a soldier, then, he was excellent ; as a tribune, 
without peer ; as a general, eminent ; as a governor, 
stern ; as a consul, distinguished ; as a man, one to 
be noted both at home and abroad ; but as an em- 
peror, unlucky. Under Severus, who was a forbid- 
ding sort of man, he might have been of use to the 
state had he been willing to cast in his lot with 
him. VII. But this could not be, for he was de- 
ceived by the sinister counsels of Aurelianus, who 
espoused his daughters to Niger's sons and made him, 
persist in his attempt at empire. 

He was a man of such influence that when he saw the 
provinces being demoralized by frequent changes of 
administration, he ventured to write to Marcus, and 
later to Commodus, making two recommendations : 
first, that no provincial governor, legate or proconsul, 1 
should be superseded within a term of five years, 
because otherwise they laid down their power before 
they learned how to rule ; and second, that save for 
posts held by soldiers, no man without previous experi- 
ence should be appointed to take part in the government 
of the empire, the purpose of this being that assistants 2 
should be promoted to the administration of those 
provinces only in which they had served as assistants. 
Afterwards this very principle was maintained by 
Severus and many of his successors, as the prefectures 
of Paulus and LJlpian prove for these men were 
assistants to Papinian, 3 and afterwards, when the one 
had served as secretary of memoranda and the other 
as secretary of petitions, 4 both were next appointed 

literary adviser (astudiis) were important and influential mem- 
bers of the imperial cabinet. Originally, these posts were held 
by freedmen of the emperor, but after Hadrian's reform of the 
civil service they were assigned toEquites; seeHadr., xxii. 8. 



5 statim praefecti facti sunt. huius etiam illud fuit, ut 
nemo adsideret in sua provincia, nemo administraret 

6 nisi Romae Romanus, hoc est oriundus urbe. addidit 
praeterea consiliariis salaria, ne eos gravarent quibus 
adsidebant, dicens iudicem nee dare debere nee acci- 

7pere. hie erga milites tanta fuit censura, ut, cum 
apud Aegyptum ab eo limitanei vinum peterent, 
responderit " Nilum habetis et vinum quaeritis ? " ; 
si quidem tanta illius fluminis dulcitudo, ut accolae 

Svina noil quaerant. idem tumultuantibus iis qui 
a Saracenis victi fuerant et dicentibus, " Vinum non 
accepimus, pugnare non possumus," " Erubescite," 

9 inquit, " illi qui vos vincunt aquam bibunt ". idem 
Palaestinis rogantibus ut eorum censitio levaretur 
idcirco quod esset gravata respondit : " Vos terras 
vestras levari censitione vultis ; ego vero etiam aerem 
vestrum censere vellem ". 

VIII. Denique Delphici Apollinis vates in motu l rei 
publicae maximo, cum nuntiaretur tres esse impera- 
tores, Severum Septimium, Pescennium Nigrum, 
Clodium Albinum, consultus quern expediret rei pub- 
licae imperare, versum Graecum huiusmodi fudisse 
dicitur : 

" Optimus est Fuscus, bonus Afer, pessimus Albus." 

1 immo P. 

l i.e., the assessores. Salaries had already been granted to 
them by Antoninus Pius ; see Digesta, 1. 13, 4. If the present 
passage and Alex., xlvi. 1 are correct, however, it would seem 
that the grant had not been carried out in full. 



prefects of the guard. It was also a recommendation 
of his that no one should serve as assistant in the 
province of his birth, and that no one should govern 
a province who was not a Roman of Rome, that is, 
a man born in the city itself. He also recommended 
salaries for the members of the governor's council, 1 
in order to prevent their being a burden to those to 
whom they were advisers, adding that judges ought 
neither to give nor receive. With his soldiers he 
was severity itself; once, for example, when the 
frontier troops in Egypt asked him for wine, he 
replied : " Do you ask for wine when you have the 
Nile ?" In fact, the waters of the Nile are so sweet 
that the inhabitants of the country do not ask for 
wine. And similarly, when the troops made a 
great uproar after they had been defeated by the 
Saracens, and cried out, " We get no wine, we cannot 
fight ! ", " Then blush," said he, " for the men who 
defeat you drink water." Likewise, when the people 
of Palestine besought him to lessen their tribute, 
saying that it bore heavily on them, he replied : " So 
you wish me to lighten the tax on your lands ; verily, 
if I had my way, I would tax your air". 

VIII. Now when the confusion in the state was at 
its height, inasmuch as it was made known that there 
were three several emperors, Septimius Severus, 
Pescennius Niger, and Clodius Albinus, the priest 
of the Delphic Apollo was asked which of them as 
emperor would prove of most profit to the state, 
whereupon, it is said, he gave voice to a Greek verse 
as follows : 

" Best is the Dark One, the African good, but the 
worst is the White One." 



2 ex quo intellectum Fuscum Nigrum appellatum vatici- 
natione, Severum Afrum, Album vero Albinum die- 
Stum, nee defuit alia curiositas, qua requisitum est 
qui esset obtenturus rem publicam. ad quod ille re- 
spondit alium versum talem : 

"Fundetur sanguis Albi Nigrique animantis, 
imperium mundi Poena reget urbe profectus." 

4 item, cum quaesitum esset quis illi 1 successurus esset, 
respondisse itidem Graeco versu dicitur : 

" Cui dederint superi nomen habere Pii." 

5 quod omnino intellectum non est nisi cum Bassianus 
Antonini, quod verum signum Pii fuit, nomen accepit. 

6 item cum quaereretur quamdiu imperaturus esset, 
respondisse Graece dicitur : 

"Bis denis Italum conscendit navibus aequor, 
si tameii una ratis transiliet pelagus." 

ex quo intellectum Severum viginti annos expletu- 

IX. Haec sunt, Diocletiane maxime Augustorum, 
quae de Pescennio didicimus ex pluribus libris. non 
enim facile, ut in principio libri diximus, quisquam 

1 illis P. 

1 See Sev., x. 3. ' 2 An adaptation of Aeneid, i. 381. 



And in this response it was clearly understood that 
Niger was meant by the Dark One, Severus by the 
African, and Albinus by the White One. Thereupon 
the curiosity of the questioners was aroused, and they 
asked who would really win the empire. To this 
the priest replied with further verses somewhat as 
follows : 

"Both of the Black and the White shall the life-blood 

be shed all untimely ; 
Empire over the world shall be held by the native of 


And then when the priest was asked who should suc- 
ceed this man, he gave answer, it is said, with another 
Greek verse : 

"He whom the dwellers above have called by the 
surname of Pius." 

But this was altogether unintelligible until Bassianus 
took the name Antoninus, 1 which was Pius' true 
surname. And when finally they asked how long he 
should rule, the priest is said to have replied in 
Greek as follows : 

"Surely with twice ten ships he will cleave the 

Italian waters, 2 

Only let one of his barques bound o'er the plain of 
the sea." 

From this they perceived that Severus would round 
out twenty years. 

IX. This, Diocletian, greatest of emperors, is what 
we have learned concerning Pescennius, gathering it 
from many books. For when a man consigns to 
books the lives of men wlio were not rulers in the 



vitas eorum mittit in libros, qui aut principes in re 
publica non fuerunt aut a senatu appellati non sunt 
imperatores, aut occisi citius ad famam venire ne- 
2quiverimt. inde quod latet Vindex, quod Piso 
nescitur, quod omnes illi qui aut tantum adoptati 
sunt aut a militibus imperatores appellati, ut sub 
Domitiano Antonius, aut cito intererapti vitam cum 

3 iniperii usurpatione posuerunt. sequitur nunc ut de 
Clodio Albino dicam, qui quasi socius huius habetur, 
quod et pariter contra Severum rebellarunt et ab 
eodem victi atque occisi sunt. de quo ipso neque 

4 satis clara exstant, quia eadem fortuna illius fuit 
quae Pescennii, etiamsi vita satis dispar. 

5 Ac ne quid ex iis quae ad Pescennium pertinent 
praeterisse videamur, licet aliis libris cognosci possint, 
de hoc Septimio Severo vates dixerunt quod neque 
vivus neque mortuus in potestatem Severi venturus 

6 esset, sed iuxta aquas illi pereundum esset. quod 
quidam l dicunt ipsum Severum de mathesi, qua 
callebat, dixisse. nee abfuit 2 responsis veritas, cum 
ille inventus sit iuxta paludem semivivus. 

X. Hie tantae fuit severitatis, ut, cum milites 
quosdam in cauco argenteo expeditionis tempore 

1 quidem P. 2 adfuit P. 

1 Cf. c. i. 1. 

2 C. Julius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, who 
led a revolt against Nero in 68 and was defeated by the army 
from Germany ; see Suetonius, Nero, xl. f. 

3 C. Calpurnius Piso, the nominal head of a wide-spread 
conspiracy formed against Nero in 65 ; see Tacitus, Annals, 
xv. 48-59. 



state, or of those, again, who were not declared 
emperors by the senate, or, lastly, of those who were 
so quickly killed that they could not attain to fame, 
his task is difficult, as we said at the beginning of 
this work. 1 It is for this reason that Vindex 2 is 
obscure and Piso 3 unknown, as well as all those 
others also who were merely adopted, or were hailed 
as emperors by the soldiers (as was Antonius 4 in 
Domitian's time), or were speedily slain and gave up 
their lives and their attempt at empire together. It 
now remains for me to speak of Clodius Albinus, 5 
who is considered this man's ally, in a way, since 
they rebelled against Severus similarly, and were 
similarly overcome by him and put to death. But 
we have no clear information concerning him either, 
since he and Pescennius were the same in fate, how- 
ever much they differed in their lives. 

And lest we seem to omit any of the tales which 
are told of Pescennius, for all that they can be read 
in other books, the soothsayers told Severus con- 
cerning Pescennius that neither living nor yet dead 
would he fall into Severus' hands but would perish 
near the water. Some say that Severus himself 
made this statement, learning it from astrology, in 
which he was very skilled. Nor was the augury 
devoid of truth, for Pescennius was found half dead 
near a lake. 6 

X. Pescennius was a man of unusual rigour ; when 
he learned, for instance, that various soldiers were 
drinking from silver cups while on a campaign, he 

4 L. Antonius Saturninus, governor of Upper Germany, 
who with two legions attempted a revolt in 88, but was soon 
defeated and put to death ; see Suetonius, Domitian, vi. 

See Sev. t x-xi ; CL Alb., ix. 6 Cf. c. v. 8. 



bibere vidisset, iusserit omne argentum summoveri 
de usu expeditionali, addito eo ut ligneis vasis ute- 
rentur. quod quidem illi odium militare concitavit. 

2 dicebat enim posse fieri, ut sarcinae militares in po- 
testatem hostium venirent, nee se barbarae nationes 
argento nostro gloriosiores facerent, cum alia minus 

Sapta hosticam viderentur ad gloriam. idem iussit 
vimim in expeditione neminem bibere, sed aceto 

4universos' esse contentos. idem pistores sequi ex- 
peditionem prohibuit, bucellato iubens milites et 

oomnes contentos esse. idem ob unius gallinacei 
direptionem decem commanipulones, qui raptum ab 
uno comederant, securi percuti iussit ; et fecisset, nisi 
ab omni exercitu prope usque ad metum seditionis 

6esset rogatus. et cum pepercisset, iussit ut denorum 
gallinaceorum pretia provincial! redderent decem, 
qui simul furto con\-ixerant, addito eo ut tota in ex- 
peditione in commanipulatione nemo focum faceret, 
ne umquam recens coctum cibum sumerent, sed 
pane ac frigida vescerentur, adpositis speculatori- 

~ bus, qui id curarent. idem iussit, ne zona milites ad 
bellum ituri l aureos vel argenteos nummos portarent, 
sed publice comniendarent, recepturi post proelia 


1 Cf. Hadr., x. 2. 


gave orders that all silver whatever should be 
banished from the camp in war-time, and added that 
the soldiers should use wooden cups a command 
that gained him their resentment. For it was not 
impossible, he said, that the soldiers' individual 
baggage might fall into the hands of the enemy, and 
foreign tribes should not be given cause tor glorying 
in our silver, when there were other articles that 
would contribute less to a foeman's glory. He gave 
orders, likewise, that in time of campaign the soldiers 
should not drink wine but should all content them- 
selves with vinegar. 1 He also forbade pastry- 
cooks to follow expeditions, ordering both soldiers 
and all others to content themselves with biscuit. 
For the theft of a single cock, furthermore, he gave 
an order that the ten comrades who had shared the 
bird which one of them had stolen, should all be be- 
headed ; and he would have carried out the sentence, 
had not the entire army importuned him to such a 
degree that there was reason to fear a mutiny. And 
when he had spared them, he ordered that each of 
the ten who had feasted on the stolen bird should 
pay the provincial who owned it the price of ten 
cocks. At this same time he ordered that no one 
during the whole period of the campaign should 
build a hearth in his company-quarters, and that 
they should never eat freshly-cooked food, but should 
live on bread and cold water. And he set spies to 
see that this was done. He gave orders, likewise. 
that the soldiers should not carry gold or silver coin 
in their money-belts when about to go into action, 
but should deposit them with a designated official. 
After the battle, he assured them, they would get 
back what they had deposited, or the orficial who had 



quod dederant, addens liberis eorum et uxoribus 
heredibus certe reddendum, cui 1 venisset, ne ad 
hostes aliquid praedae perveniret, si quid forte ad- 

8 versi fortuna fecisset. sed haec omiiia, ut se habuerat 
Commodi temporum dissolutio, ad versa eidem fuere. 

9 denique etiamsi nemo fuit, qui suis temporibus dux 
severior videretur, ad perniciem 2 illi magis vivo 3 quam 
mortuo, ubi et invidia et odium deposita erant, talia 
exempla valuerunt. 

XI Idem in omni expeditione ante omnes mili- 
tarem cibum sumpsit ante papilionem, nee sibi umquam 
vel contra solem vel contra imbres quaesivit tecti 

2 suffragium, si miles non habuit. tantum denique 
belli tempore, ratione militibus demonstrata, sibi et 
servis suis vel contubernalibus putavit 4 quantum a 
militibus ferebatur, cum servos suos annona oneraret, 
ne illi securi ambularent et onusti milites, idque ab 

3 exercitu cum suspirio videretur. idem in contione 
iuravit se, quamdiu in expeditionibus fuisset essetque 5 
adhuc futurus, non aliter egisse 6 acturumque esse 
quam militem, Marium ante oculos habentem et 

4duces tales, nee alias fabulas umquam habuit nisi 

5 de 7 Hannibale ceterisque talibus. denique cum im- 
peratori facto quidam panegyricum recitare vellet, 
dixit ei : " Scribe laudes Marii vel Hannibalis vel 
cuiusvis 8 ducis optimi vita functi, et die quid 

6 ille fecerit, ut eum nos imitemur. nam viventes 

1 cui Salmasius ; qui P. 2 ad perniciem Edit. Princeps ; 
perniciem P, Peter. s magis uiuo quam mortuo Editor; 

magis ista quam mortuo P ; lacuna before mortuo Peter. 
4 putauit Hirschfeld, Peter 2 ; portauit P, Peter 1 . 6 esse 

quae P. 8 egisse Salmasius; esse P. 7 om. in P. 

8 <Zuel~> cuiusuis Baehrens, Peter 2 ; cuius P; <w?r> alius 
Peter 1 . 



received it would pay it to their heirs that is, 
their wives and children without fail. Thus, he 
reasoned, no plunder would pass to the enemy, should 
fortune bring some disaster. All these stern measures, 
however, worked to his disadvantage in times so slack 
as those of Commodus. For even if there was no 
one who seemed to his own times a sterner general, 
these measures availed to damage him rather during 
his life than after his death, when both envy and 
malice were laid by. 

XI. On all his campaigns he took his meals in 
front of his tent and in the presence of all his men, 
and he ate the soldiers' own fare, too ; nor did he 
ever seek shelter against sun or against rain if a 
soldier was without it. In time of war he assigned 
to himself and to his slaves or aides as heavy bur- 
dens as were borne by the soldiers themselves, ex- 
pounding to the soldiers the reason therefor ; for in 
order that his slaves might not be without burdens 
on the march while the soldiers carried packs and this 
seem a grievous thing to the army, he loaded them 
with rations. He took an oath, besides, in the presence 
of an assembly, that as long as he had conducted cam- 
paigns and as long as he expected to conduct them, 
he had not in the past and would not in the future 
dct otherwise than as a simple soldier having before 
his eyes Marius and such commanders as he. He 
never told anecdotes about anyone save Hannibal and 
others such as he. Indeed, when some one wished 
to recite him a panegyric at the time that he was 
declared emperor, he said to him : ' ' Write praises of 
Marius, or Hannibal, or of any pre-eminent general 
now dead, and tell what he did, that we may imitate 
him. For the praise of the living is mere mockery, 



laudare inrisio est, maxime imperatores, a quibus 
speratur, qui timentur, qui praestare publice possunt, 
qui possunt necare, qui proscribere." se autem 
vivum placere velle, mortuum etiam laudari. 

XII. Amavit de principibus Augustum, Vespasian- 
um, Titum, Traianum, Pium, Marcum, reliquos faeneos 
vel venenatos vocans ; maxime tameii in historiis 
Marium et Camillum et Quinctium et l Marcium 

2 Coriolanum dilexit. interrogatus autem quid de 
Scipionibus sentiret, dixisse fertur felices illos fuisse 
magis quam fortes ; idque probare domesticam vitam 
et iuventutem, quae in utroque minus speciosa domi 

Sfuisset. apud omnes constat quod, si rerum potitus 
fuisset, omnia correcturus fuerit, quae Severus vel 
non potuit emendare vel noluit, et quidem sine 
crudelitate, immo etiam cum lenitate, sed militari, 
non remissa et inepta atque ridicula. 

4 Domus eius hodie Romae visitur in Campo lovis, 
quae appellatur Pescenniana. 2 in qua simulacrum eius 
in trichoro consistit, positum 3 ex Thebaico marmore, 
quod ille ad similitudinem sui factum a grege 4 

5 Thebaeorum acceperat. exstat etiam epigramma 
Graecum, quod Latine hanc habet sententiam : 

1 Quinctium et Marcium Jordan ; quintum marcium P. 
2 pescenniani P. 3 consistit, positum Peter ; constituit statim 
post annum P. 4 grege Lumbroso ; rege P, Peter. 

X M. Furius Camillus, who as dictator captured Veii in 396 
B.C. and later defeated the Volscians. 

2 L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, dictator in 458 B.C., when he 
defeated the Aequi. 

3 Leader of the Romans against the Volscians, whom, after 



and most of all the praise of emperors, in whose 
power it lies to kindle hope or fear, to give advance- 
ment in public life, to condemn to death, and to de- 
clare a man an outlaw." He added that he wished 
to give satisfaction in his life-time, and after his 
death to be praised as well. 

XII. His favourites among his predecessors were 
Augustus, Vespasian, Titus, Trajan, Pius, and Marcus ; 
the others, he averred, were either puppets or 
monsters. Among the characters of history he ad- 
mired most of all Marius, Camillus, 1 Quinctius, 2 and 
Marcius Coriolanus. 3 And once, when asked his 
opinion concerning the Scipios, he replied, it is said, 
that they were rather fortunate than forceful, as was 
shown by their home-lives and by their youth, which, 
in the case of both, had not been conspicuous at home. 
All men are agreed that he proposed, had he gained 
the throne, to correct all the evils which Severus, 
later, either could not or would not correct ; and this 
he would have accomplished without any cruelty, or 
rather even with mercy, but yet the mercy of a 
soldier, not weak or absurd and a subject for mockery. 

His house, still called by the name of Pescennius, 
may still be seen in the Field of Jupiter. 4 Within, in 
a certain room with three compartments there stands 
his statue, carved in Theban marble, 5 depicting his 
likeness, and given him by the common people of 
Thebes. There is preserved, besides, an epigram in 
Greek which, rendered into Latin, runs as follows : 

he was exiled from Rome in 491 B.C., he joined and led against 

4 The site of this is unknown. 

5 Black basalt, called by the ancients basanites, was 
brought to Rome from upper Egypt ; see Pliny, Nat. Hist., 
xxxvi. 58. 



6 " Terror Aegyptiaci Niger astat militis ingens, 
Thebaidos socius, aurea saecla volens. 

hunc reges, Imnc gentes amant, hunc aurea Roma, 
hie Antoninis carus et 1 imperio. 

Nigrum nomen habet, nigrum 2 formavimus ipsi, 
ut consentiret forma, metalle, tibi." 

7quos quidem versus Severus eradi noluit, cum hoc 
ei et praefecti suggererent et officiorum magistri, 

Saddens: "Si talis fuit, sciant omnes qualem viceri- 
mus ; si talis non fuit, putent omnes nos talem 
vicisse ; immo sic sit, quia fuit talis." 

1 orn. in P. 2 nigram P. 



" Glorious Niger stands here, the dread of the soldiers 

of Egypt, 

Faithful ally of Thebes, willing a golden age. 
Loved by the kings and the nations of earth, and by 

Rome the all golden, 

Dear to the Antonines, aye, dear to the Empire too. 
Black is the surname he. bears, and black is the statue 

we've fashioned, 
Thus do surname and hue, hero and marble, agree." 

As for these verses, Severus refused to erase them 
when this was proposed by his prefects and masters 
of ceremonies, and said, besides : " If indeed he was 
such a man, let all men learn how great was the man 
we vanquished ; if such he was not, let all men deem 
that such was the man we vanquished ; no, leave it 
as it is, for such he really was ". 





I. Uno eodemque prope tempore post Pertinacera, 
qui auctore l Albino interernptus est, lulianus a 
senatu Romae, Septimius Severus ab exercitu in II- 
lyrico, 2 Pescennius Niger in Oriente, CJodius Albinus 

2 in Gallia imperatores appellati. et Clodium 3 quidem 
Herodianus dicit Severi * C'aesarem fuhse. sed cum 
alter alteruin indignaretur imperare, nee Galli ferre 
possent aut Gerrnaniciani ' exercitus quod et ipsi 
suurn specialem principem haberent, undique cuncta 
turbata sunt. 

Fuit autem Clodius Albinus familia nobili, 

4 Hadrumetinus tamen ex Africa, quare sortem illam, 
qua e Severura laudatum in Pescennii vita diximus, ad 

1 auctar P. 2 Ulyrico Erasmus ; Syria P. clodius 

P. * seuerum P. * Germamciani Salrnasius ; germani- 
ani P. *quae P. 

1 Repeated in c. xiv. 2 and 6, and found in other late writers. 
Th -:--: DC . of it in Bio or Herodian and it seems 

to be wholly untn. 

a Albinus waa not acclaimed emperor until 106, after Niger's 
revolt waa crushed; see Sev., i. 1. 

1 See Sev., x. 7 xi. 2. 





I. After the death of Pertinax, who was slain at 
Albinus' advice, 1 various men were hailed emperor at 
about one and the same time 2 by the senate Julianus 
at Rome, and by the armies, Septimius Severus in 
Illyricum, Pescennius Niger in the East, and Clodius 
Albinus in Gaul. 3 According to Herodian, Clodius 
had been named Caesar by Severus. 4 But as time 
went on, each chafed at the other's rule, and the 
armies of Gaul and Germany demanded an emperor 
of their own naming, and so all parts of the empire 
were thrown into an uproar. 

Now Clodius Albinus came of a noble family, 5 but 
he was a native of Hadrumetum in Africa. Because 
of this, he applied to himself the oracle in praise of 
Severus, which we quoted in the Life of Pescennius, 

4 See Herodian, ii. 15, 3 ; Dio, Ixxiii. 15, 1. These writers 
indicate that this was merely a trick on Severus' part, the 
purpose of which was to prevent Albinus from attacking him 
during his campaign against Niger. According to c. iii. 4-5 
and x. 3, on the other hand, Severus really intended to make 
Albinus his successor. The name Caesar appears in Albinus' 
inscriptions (see Dessau, Ins. Sel., 414 and 415) and on his 
coins (see Cohen, iii 2 , p. 416 f.). 

6 According to Herodian, ii. 15, 1, the family was of sena- 
torial rank. 



se trahebat, nolens intellegi " Pessimus Albus," : 
quod eodem versu continebatur quo et Seven laus et 

5 adprobatio Nigri Pescennii. sed priusquam vel de 
vita eius vel de morte dissero, etiam hoc dicendum 
est quod eum nobilem fecit. 

II. Nam ad hunc eundem quondam Commodus 
turn cum 2 successorem Albino daret, litteras dederat, 
quibus iusserat ut Caesar esset. exemplum indidi : 

2 " Imperator Commodus Clodio Albino, alias ad 
te publice de successione atque honore tuo misi, sed 
hanc familiarem et domesticam, omnem, ut vides, 
manu mea scriptam, qua tibi do facultatem, ut, si 
necessitas merit, ad milites prodeas et tibi Caesarea- 

3num nomen adsumas. audio enim et Septimium 
Severum et Nonium Murcum male de me apud 
milites loqui, ut sibi parent stationis Augustae pro- 

4curationem. habebis praeterea, cum id feceris, 
dandi stipendii usque ad tres aureos liberam potesta- 
tem, quia et super hoc ad procuratores meos litteras 
misi, quas ipse signatas excipies signo Amazonio et, 
cum opus fuerit, rationalibus dabis, ne te non audiant, 

5 cum de aerario volueris imperare. sane ut tibi insigne 
aliquod 3 imperialis maiestatis adiciam, 4 habebis 
utendi coccini pallii facultatem in praesenti 5 et ad me, 

1 A Ibus Jordan ; albinus P. 2 turn cum Peter ; cum eum 
P. s aliquidP l . 4 adiciam Peter ; accedamP. *in 
praesenti Damst6; me praesentem P; impraesentiarum P 2 . 

1 Peso. Nig., viii. 1. 

2 On this and the other letters in this biography see note to 
Avid. Cass., i. 6. 

3 See Sev.t vi. 9 and note. 



for he did not wish it to be interpreted as " the worst 
is the White One," which is contained in the same 
line in which Severus is praised and Pescennius Niger 
commended. 1 But before I discourse on his life and 
his death I should relate the manner in which he be- 
came ennobled. 

II. There is a certain letter 2 which Commodus sent 
Albinus once, on naming his successor in office, in 
which he bade him assume the name of Caesar ; 3 
of this letter I append a copy : 

" The Emperor Commodus to Clodius Albinus greet- 
ing. 1 wrote you once officially about the succession 
to the throne and your own elevation to honour, but I 
am now sending you this private and confidential mes- 
sage, all written with my own hand, as you will see, 
in which I empower you, should emergency arise, to 
present yourself to the soldiers and assume the name 
of Caesar. For I hear that both Septimius Severus 
and Nonius Murcus are speaking ill of me to their 
troops, hoping thereby to get the appointment to the 
post of Augustus. You shall have full power besides, 
when you thus present yourself, to give the soldiers 
a largess of three aurei apiece. You will get a letter 
which 1 am sending to my procurators to this effect, 
sealed with my signet of an Amazon, 4 which you 
will deliver to my stewards when the need arises, 
that they may not refuse your demands on the treasury. 
And that you may receive some definite symbol of an 
emperor's majesty, I authorize you to wear both at 
the present time and at my court the scarlet cloak. 5 

4 Commodus had his concubine Marcia portrayed as an 
Amazon ; see Com., xi. 9. 

8 The paludamentum, worn in the republican period by the 
commanding general. In the imperial era its use was 
restricted to members of the emperor's family. 



et cum mecum fueris, habiturus et purpuram sed sine 
auro, quia ita et proavus meus Verus, qui puer vita 
functus est, ab Hadriano, qui eum adoptavit, accepit." 
III. His litteris acceptis omnino l facere id quod 
iubebat noluit, videns 2 odiosum 3 Commodum propter 
mores suos, quibus rem publicam perdiderat et se 
dedecoraverat, quandocumque feriendum, et timens 4 
ne ipse pariter occideretur. 

2 Exstat denique illius contio qua, 5 cum accepit 
imperium, et quidem Severi, ut quidam, voluntate 

3 firmatum, huius rei memoriam facit. cuius hoc 
exemplum est : " Invitum me, commilitones, ductum 
ad imperium etiam illud probat, quod Commodum 
donantem me Caesareano nomine contempsi ; sed et 
vestrae voluntati 6 et Severi Augusti parendum est, 
quia credo sub homine optimo et viro forti posse bene 
rem publicam regi ". 

4 Nee negari potest, 7 quod ~ etiam Marius Maximus 
dicit, hunc animum Severe primum fuisse, ut, si quid 
ei contingeret, Pescennium Nigrum et Clodium 

5 Albinum sibi substitueret. sed postea et filiis iam 

1 a nonio P. 2 uidens Salmasius ; umen P. 3 odiosum 
Peter from 2 ; om. in P. 4 timens Salmasius ; eum timens P. 
5 quamP. 6 wluntatis P 1 . 7 potes P 1 . 

1 A development of thepaludamentum and regarded as the 
specific costume of the emperor. It was dyed with the liquor 
of & peculiar variety of shellfish (see Pliny, Nat. Hist., ix. 
130), whereas the scarlet paludamentum was dyed with 



Later, when you are with me, you shall have the im- 
perial purple, 1 though without the embroidery in gold. 2 
For my great-grandfather Verus, 3 who died in boyhood, 
received this from Hadrian, who adopted him." 

III. Albinus received this letter, but he utterly 
refused to do what the Emperor bade. For he saw 
that Commodus was hated because of his evil ways, 
which were bringing destruction upon the state and 
dishonour upon himself, and that he would sometime 
or other be slain, and he feared that he might perish 
with him. 

There is still in existence the speech he made when 
he accepted the imperial power some say, indeed, by 
Severus' wish and authorization in which he makes 
allusion to this refusal. Of this speech I append a 
copy : " It is against my will, my comrades, that I 
am exalted to empire, and a proof of it is this, that 
when Commodus once gave me the name of Caesar, I 
scorned it. Now, however, I must yield to your 
desire and to that of Severus Augustus, for I believe 
that under an upright man and a brave one the 
state can be well ruled." 

It is an undeniable fact, moreover, and Marius 
Maximus also relates it, that Severus at first intended 
to name Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus as his 
successors, in case aught befell him. 4 Later, as it 
happened, in the interest of his growing sons, and 
through envy of the affection in which Albinus w r as 

2 The triumphal toga was purple, embroidered with gold. 
It was worn by the emperors on occasions of special import- 

3 L. Aelius Caesar. He was, of course, not an ancestor of 
Commodus, for he was the father of Lucius Verus. 

4 See c. i. 2 and note. 



maiusculis studens et Albini amori invidens senten- 
tiam mutasse atque illoruin utrunique l bello oppres- 
6 sisse. maxime precibus uxoris adductus.- denique 
Severus eum et cousulem designavit, quod utique 
nisi de optimo viro non fecisset, homo in legendis 
magistratibus diligens. 

IV. Sed ut ad eum redeam, fuit, ut dixi, Albinus 
Hadrumetinus oriundo, sed nobilis apud suos et 
originem a Romanis familiis trahens, Postumiorum 

2 scilicet et Albinorum et Ceioniorum. quae familia 
hodie quoque, Constantine maxime, nobilissima est 
et per te aucta et augenda. quae per Gallienum et 

3 Gordianos plurimum crevit. hie tamen natus lare 
modico, patrimonio pertenui, parentibus sanctis, 
patre Ceionio Postumo, matre Aurelia Messalina, 

4 primus suis parentibus fuit. cum exceptus utero, 
quod contra consuetudinem puerorum, qui, cum 
nascuntur. solent 8 rubere, 4 esset 5 candidissimus, 

5 Albinus est dictus. quod verum 6 esse patris epistula 
ad ~ Aelium Bassianum tune proconsulem Africae data 
designat, adfinem, quantum videtur, eorum ipsorum. 

6 epistula Ceionii Postumi ad Aelium Bassianum : 
'* Filius mihi natus est VII kal. Decembres, ita candi- 

l illos utrosque P corr. -abductus P corr. 3 qui, cum 
nascuntur, solen: Lessing; qui nascuntur et solent P, Peter. 
' r-^ : . - *esse P. *ueri P 1 . T om. in P 1 . 

J c. i. 3. 

This array of names seems to have the purpose of using 
Albinus as a means of connecting the Ceionii Albini, a famous 
family of the fourth century, with the Postumii Albini, famous 
in the republican era and especially in the second century 
before Christ. The same purpose seems to appear in the 
i--~r isr.rzri :: .-. i--' :'a.:..r: ; ~:..:':. :- -'---'_ -;:! .: 
the names of two gentes of famous Albini, regardless of the 



held, and most of all becau-e of his wires entreaties, 
he changed his purpose and crushed both of them in 
war. But he did name Albinus consul, and this he 
never would have done had not Aibinus been a 
worthy man, since he was ever most careful in his 
choice of magistrate- 

IV. To return to Albinus, however, he was a 
native of Hadrumetum. as I have said before. 1 but he 
was both of noble rank there and traced his descent 
from noble families at Rome, namely the Postumii, 
the Albini, and the Ceionii. 2 The last of these 
families is among the noblest to-day, for you, most 
puissant Constantiue, have exalted it and shall exalt 
it further, though it gained its greatest prestige by 
the favour of Gallienus and the Gordians, He was 
born at Hadrumetum in a modest home, in slender 
circumstances. * and of righteous parents, Ceionius 
Postumus and Aurelia Messalina, and he was their 
first-born son. When taken from his mother's womb, 
unlike the common run of infants, who are red at 
birth, he was very white in hue. and for this reason 
he was named Albinus-: The truth of this is proved 
by a letter which his father wrote to Aelius Bas- 
s.anus, then proconsul of Africa and. as it seems, a 
kinsman of the family. The letter of Ceioniu Postu- 
mus to Aelius Bassianus : "A son was born to me on 
the seventh day before the Kalends of December, 

difference in usar e : e:~erii Postumius as the name of a gens 
sni ?:?: Mirus s.s :!ie .:: : :-. . :: a. :s.~:l". Iiiis i:: r : :: 
find famous ancestors for the Ceionii Albini has been used is 
an argument for the theory that portions. 5.: .fs.i:. :: :Jie 
His:oria Augusta were no: written before the end of the fourth 

3 According to Herodian, ii. 15, 1, he was brought up in 
weai;h and luxury. 



dus statim toto corpora, ut linteamen, quo 1 exceptus 
7 est, vinceret. quare susceptum eum Albinorum fam- 
iliae, quae mihi tecum communis est, dedi Albini 
nomine imposito. fac ut rem publicam et te et nos, 
ut facis, diligas." 

V. Hie ergo omnem pueritiam in Africa transegit, 
eruditus litteris Graecis ac Latinis 2 mediocriter, quod 

2 esset animi iam turn 3 militaris et superbi. nam 4 fer- 
tur in scholis saepissime cantasse inter puerulos 

" Arma amens capio, nee sat rationis in armis," 

" Arma amens capio." 

3 Huic multa imperil signa, cum esset natus, facta 
dicuntur. nam et bos albus purpureis ad plenum 

4 colorem cornibus natus est. 5 quae tamen in templo 
Apollinis Cumani ab eodem posita iam tribuno diu 
fuisse dicuntur, quod, cum illi 6 sortem de fato 7 suo 
tolleret, his versibus eidem dicitur esse responsum : 

" Hie rem Romanam magno turbante tumultu 
sistet eques, 8 sternet Poenos Gallumque rebellem." 

5 et in Gallia quidem eum multas gentes domuisse con- 
stat. ipse autem suspicabatur de Severo sibi prae- 
dictum "sternet Poenos," quod Septimius Afer esset. 

1 quod P. 2 ac latinis graecis P 1 . 3 turn Peter ; inte 

P ; inde Salmasius. 4 superbi. nam Peter ; superbiam P. 
5 quod mirandum fuit cum cornibus added in P; rej. by 
Peter. 6 illi Peter 2 ; illis P. 7 facto P. 8 tumultus 
steteque P 1 . 

1 Vergil, Aeneid, ii. 314. 2 Vergil, Aeneid, vi. 857-858. 

8 Of. o. vi. 8. 



and so white was his body at birth that it was whiter 
than the linen clothes in which we wrapped him. 
I acknowledged him, therefore, as one of the family 
of the Albini, who are common kin to you and me, 
and bestowed upon him the name Albinus. And 
now remember, I pray you, our country, yourself and 


V. All his boyhood, then, Albinus spent in Africa, 
where he got a fair education in Greek and Latin 
letters. And even at that time he showed signs of 
a haughty and warlike spirit, for at school, it is said, 
he used often to recite to the children : 

" Madly I seized my arms, though in arms there 
lay little reason "- 1 

And he repeated again and again the words, " Madly 
I seized my arms ". 

It is said that his rule was predicted by a number 
of omens that occurred at the time of his birth. For 
instance, a snow-white bull was born, whose horns were 
of a deep purple hue. And he is said to have placed 
these, when tribune of the soldiers, in the temple of 
Apollo at Cumae, and when he made inquiry of 
the oracle there concerning his fate, he received a 
response, it is said, in the following lines : 

" He shall establish the power of Rome though 

tumult beset her, 

Riding his horse he shall smite both Poeni and 
Galli rebellious." 2 

And, indeed, it is well known that he conquered many 
tribes in Gaul. 3 He himself always believed, more- 
over, that the prediction " he shall smite the Poeni ' 
referred to him and Severus, because Severus was 



6 fuit et aliud sigiium futuri imperil, nam cum Caesar- 
eana familia hoc speciale habuerit, ut parvuli domus 
eius in testudineis alveis l lavarentur, nato infaiitulo 
testudo ingens patri eius munere piscatoris adlata 

7 est ; quod ille homo litteratus omen accipiens et 
testudinem libenter accepit et earn curari iussit atque 
infantulo ad excaldationes pueriles dicari, nobilitan- 

8dum etiam hinc sperans. cum rarum esset, aquilas 
in his locis videri, in quibus natus est Albinus, septima 
eius die 2 hora convivii, quod celebritati pueri deputa- 
batur, cum ei 3 fierent nomina, septem aquilae parvulae 
de nidis adlatae sunt et quasi ad iocum circa cunas 
pueri constitutae. nee 4 hoc omen pater abnuitet 5 iussit 

9 aquilas ali et diligenter curari. accessit omen, quod, 
cum pueri eius familiae russulis fasciolis inligarentur, 
quod forte lotae atque udae essent russulae fasciolae, 
quas mater praegnans paraverat, purpurea matris 
inligatus 6 est fascea ; unde illi ioco nutricis etiam 
10 Porphyrii nomen inditum est. haec atque alia signa 
imperii futuri fuere. quae qui volet nosse, Aelium 
Cordum legat, qui frivola super huius modi ominibus 
cuncta persequitur. 

1 testudine albeis P. 2 diei P. 3 eis P. 4 tie P ; 

Peter. 6 et ins. by Frankfurter. s vnlitus P 1 . 

1 See Intro. , p. xviii. 


a native of Africa. There was another indication of 
his future rule besides these. A peculiar custom 
was observed in the family of the Caesars, namely, 
that the infants of this house should be bathed in 
tubs of tortoise-shell. Now when Albinus was a 
newly born infant, a fisherman brought as a gift to 
his father a tortoise of enormous size, and he, being 
well versed in letters, regarded the gift as an omen 
and accepted the tortoise gladly. He then gave an 
order that they should prepare the shell and set it 
apart for the child for use in the hot baths that are 
given to infants, hoping that this gift portended 
noble rank for his son. And again, although eagles 
appear but rarely in the region in which Albinus was 
born, on the seventh day after his birth, at the very 
hour of a banquet in honour of the bestowal of his 
name, seven young eagles were brought in from a 
nest and placed as though in jest about the cradle of 
the child. Nor did his father scorn this omen either, 
but commanded that the eagles be fed and guarded 
with care. Still another omen occurred. It was 
customary in his family that the bandages in which 
the children are wrapped should be of a reddish colour. 
In his case, however, it chanced that the bandages 
which had been prepared by his mother during her 
pregnancy had been washed and were not yet dry, and 
he was therefore wrapped in a bandage of his 
mother's, and this, as it happened, was of a purple 
hue. For this reason his nurse, jestingly, gave him 
the name Porphyrius. These were the omens that 
betokened his future rule. There were others besides 
these, but he who desires to learn what they are may 
read them in Aelius Cordus, 1 for he relates all trivial 
details concerning omens of this sort. 



VI. Adulescens igitur statim se ad militiam contulit 
atque Antoninis per Lollium Sereiium et Baebium 
Maecianum et Ceionium Postumianum suos adfines 
2innotuit. egit tribunus equites Dalmatas ; egit et 
legioiiem 1 quartanorum et primanorum ; Bithynicos 
exercitus eo terupore quo 2 Avidius rebellabat fideliter 

3 tenuit. dein per Commodum ad Galliam translatus, 
in qua fusis gentibus 3 Transrhenanis celebre nomen 

4 suum et apud Rort-anos et apud barbaros fecit, quibus 
rebus accensus Commodus Caesareanum ei nomen 
obtulit et dandi stipendii facultatem et pallii coccini 

5 utendi. quibus omnibus ille prudenter abstinuit, 
dicens Commodum quaerere qui aut cum eo perirent 

6 aut quos cum causa ipse posset occidere. quaesturae 
gratia illi facta est. qua concessa aedilis non amplius 
quam decem diebus fuit, quod ad exercitum festino 

7 mitteretur. dein praeturam egit sub Commodo famosis 
simam. nam eiusdem ludis Commodus et in foro et in 

8 theatro pugnas exhibuisse perhibetur. consul a Severe 
declaratus est eo tempore quo ill urn sibi paraverat 
cum 4 Pescennio subrogare. 

VII. Ad imperiurn venit natu 5 iam grandior et maior 
Pescennio Nigro, ut Severus ipse in vita sua loquitur 

1 legione P. 2 quod P. gentibus Peter ; fugenhbus P. 
4 cum Pescennio Jordan; Pescennio P; <> Pescennium 
Peter 1 ; [Pescennio] Peter 2 . 8 natura P. 

1 The Legio I. Italica in Moesia Inferior and the Legio IV, 
Flavia in Moesia Superior. 

2 Probably as governor of Germania Inferior. 

3 See Sev., vi. 9 and note. 



VI. As soon as he came of age he entered military 
service, and by the aid of Lollius Serenus, Baebius 
Maecianusand Ceionius Postumianus, all his kinsmen, 
he gained the notice of the Antonines. In the 
capacity of a tribune he commanded a troop of 
Dalmatian horse : he also commanded soldiers of 
the First and the Fourth legions. 1 At the time of 
Avidius' revolt he loyally held the Bithynian army 157 
to its allegiance. Next, Commodus transferred him 

to Gaul ; 2 and here he routed the tribes from over 
the Rhine and made his name illustrious among both 
Romans and barbarians. This aroused Commodus' 
interest, and he offered Albinus the name of Caesar 3 
and the privilege, too, of giving the soldiers a present 
and wearing the scarlet cloak. 4 But all these offers 
Albinus wisely refused, for Commodus, he said, was 
only looking for a man who would perish with him, 5 
or whom he could reasonably put to death. The 
duty of holding the quaestorship was in his case 
remitted. This requirement waived, he became 
aedile, but after a term of only ten days he was 
despatched in haste to the army. 6 Next, he served 
his praetorship under Commodus, and a very famous 
one it was. For at his games Commodus, it is said, 
gave gladiatorial combats in both the Forum and the 194 
theatre. And finally Severus made him consul at 
the time when he purposed to make him and 
Pescennius his successors. 

VII. When he at last attained to the empire he 
was well advanced in years, for he was older, as 
Severus himself relates in his autobiography, 7 than 
Pescennius Niger. But Severus, after his victory 

4 See note to o. ii. 5. 8 Of. c. iii. 1. 

B See 2. 7 See note to Sev., iii. 2. 



2 sed victo Pescennio, cum et filiis suis imperium servare 
cuperet et ingentem senatus amorem circa Clodium 
Albinum videret, quod esset vir antiquae familiae, 
litteras ad eum per quosdam summi amoris ac summae 
adfectionis misit, quibus hortabatur, ut, quoniam 
occisus esset Pescennius Niger, ipse cum eo fideliter 

3 rem publicam regeret. quarum exemplum hoc esse 
Cordus ostendit : " Imperator Severus Augustus 
Clodio Albino Caesari, fratri amantissimo et desider- 

4 antissimo, salutem. victo Pescennio litteras Romam 
dedimus, quas senatus tui amantissimus libenter 
accepit. te quaeso, tit eo animo rem publicam regas 
quo delectus es frater animi mei, frater imperil. 

5 Bassianus et Geta te salutant. lulia nostra et te et 
sororem salutat. infantulo tuo Pescennio Princo 

6 munera digna suo loco tuoque mittemus. tu velim 
exercitus rei publicae ac nobis retentes, mi unanime, 
mi carissime, mi amantissime." 

VIII. Et has quidem litteras missis stipatoribus fide- 
lissimis dedit, quibus praecepit, ut epistulam publice 
darent, postea vero dicerent se velle pleraque occulte 
suggerere, quae ad res bellicas pertinerent et ad 
secreta castrorum atque aulicam fidem ; ubi vero in 
secretum venissent quasi mandata dicturi, quinque 
validissimi eum interimerent gladiolis infra vestem 
2latentibus. iiec illorum quidem fides defuit. 1 nam 
cum ad Albinum venissent et epistulam dedissent, 

l fidefuit P 1 . 

1 See also Herodian, iii. 5, 2. 

2 This same story of the attempted assassination and the 
frustration of the plot is told in Herodian, iii. 5, 3-8. 



over Pescennius, desiring to keep the throne for his 
sons, and observing that Clodius Albinus, inasmuch 
as he came of an ancient family, was greatly beloved 
by the senate, 1 sent him certain men with a letter 
couched in terms of the greatest love and affection, in 
which he urged that, now that Pescennius Niger was 
slain, they should loyally rule the state together. 
The following, so Cordus declares, is a copy of this 
letter : " The Emperor Severus Augustus to Clodius 
Albinus Caesar, our most loving and loyal brother, 
greeting. After defeating Pescennius we despatched 
a letter to Rome, which the senate, ever devoted to 
you, received with rejoicing. Now I entreat you that 
in the same spirit in which you were chosen as 
the brother of my heart you will rule the empire as 
my brother on the throne. Bassianus and Geta send 
you greetings, and our Julia, too, greets both you and 
your sister. To your little son Pescennius Princus 
we will send a present, worthy both of his station and 
your own. I would like you to hold the troops in 
their allegiance to the empire and to ourselves, my 
most loyal, most dear, and loving friend." 

VIII. This was the letter that he gave to the 
trusted attendants that were sent to Albinus. He 
told them to deliver the letter in public ; but, later, 
they were to say that they wished to confer with 
him privately on many matters pertaining to the war, 
the secrets of the camp, and the trustworthiness of 
the court, and when they had come to the secret 
meeting for the purpose of telling their errand, 
five sturdy fellows were to slay him with daggers 
hidden in their garments. 2 And they showed no lack 
of fidelity. For they came to Albinus and delivered 
Severus' letter, and then, when he read it, they said 



qua lecta cum dicerent quaedam secretius sug- 
gerenda et locum semotum ab omnibus arbitris 
postularent, et cum omnino neminem paterentur ad 
porticum longissimam cum Albino progredi ea specie 
ne maiidata proderentur, Albinus intejlexit insidias. 

3 denique indulgens suspicionibus eos tormentis dedit. 
qui diu primo pernegarunt sed postea victi necessitate 
confessi sunt ea quae Severus iisdem praeceperat. 

4 Tune iam proditis rebus et apertis insidiis, ea quae 
suspicabatur Albinus clara esse intellegens exercitu 
ingenti collecto contra Severum atque eius duces 

IX. venit. et primo quidem conflictu habito contra duces 
Severi potior fuit, post autem Severus ipse, cum id 
egisset apud senatum, ut host is iudicaretur Albinus, 
contra eum profectus acerrime fortissimeque pugnavit 
2inGallia non sine varietate fortunae. denique cum 
sollicitus augures consuleret, responsum illi est, ut 
dicit Marius Maximus, venturum quidem in potestate 
eius Albinum, sed non vivum nee mortuum. quod 

3 et factum est. nam cum ultimo proelio commissum 
esset, innumeris suorum caesis, plurimis fugatis, multis 
etiam deditis, Albinus fugit et, ut multi dicunt, se 
ipse percussit, ut alii, servo suo percussus semivivus 

4 ad Severum deductus est. unde confirmatum est 
augurium quod fuerat ante praedictum. multi prae- 
terea dicunt, a militibus, qui eius l nece 2 a Severo 
gratiam requirebant. 

1 qui eius Casaubon ; cuius P, Peter. 3 necem P 1 . 

J It was at this time, in 196, that he was acclaimed 
Augustus ; see c. i. 1. 
- See Sev. t x. 7 xi. 2. 0f. Sev., xi. 6. 



that they had some matters to tell him more privately, 
and asked for a place far removed from all who could 
overhear. But when they refused to suffer anyone to 
go with Albinus to this distant portico, on the ground 
that their secret mission must not be made known, 
Albinus scented a plot and eventually yielded to his 
suspicions and delivered them over to torture. And 
though at first they stoutly denied their guilt, in 
the end they yielded to extreme measures and dis- 
closed the commands that Severus had laid upon 

Thus all was revealed and the plot laid bare, and 
Albinus, now seeing that what he had merely sus- 
pected before was true, assembled a mighty force and 
advanced to meet Severus and his generals. 1 IX. In 
the first engagement, indeed, which was fought with 
Severus' leaders, 2 he proved superior. Later Severus 
himself, after causing the senate to declare Albinus 
a public enemy, set out against him and fought in 
Gaul, bitterly and courageously but not without vicis- 
situdes of fortune. At last, being somewhat per- 
turbed, Severus consulted an augur, and received 
from him the response, according to Marius Maximus, 
that Albinus would in truth fall into his power, but 
neither alive nor dead. And so it happened. For 
after a decisive engagement, where countless of his 
soldiers fell, and very many fled, and many, too, surren- 
dered, Albinus also fled away and, according to some, 
stabbed himself, according to others, was stabbed by 
a slave. At any rate, he was brought to Severus only 
half alive. 3 So the prophecy made before the battle 
was fulfilled. Many, moreover, declare that he was 
slain by soldiers who asked Severus for a bounty for 
his death. 



6 Fuit Albino unus, ut aliqui dicunt, filius, ut 1 
Maximus elicit, duo. quibus primum veniam dedit, 
postea vero eos cum matre percussit et in profluentem 

6abici iussit. caput eius excisum pilo circumtulit 
Romamque misit, litteris ad senatum datis quibus 
insultavit, quod Albinum tantopere dilexissent ut 
eius adfines et fratrem praecipue ingenti honore 

7 cumularent. iacuisse ante praetorium Severi Albini 
corpus per dies plurimos dicitur usque ad fetorem, 
laniatumque a canibus in profluentem abiectum est. 

X. De moribus eius varia dicuntur. et Severus qui- 
dem ipse haec de eodem loquitur, ut eum dicat turpem 
malitiosum improbum inhonestum cupidum luxuri- 
2osum. sed haec belli tempore vel post bellum, 
Squando ei iam velut de hoste credi non poterat, cum 
et ipse ad eum quasi ad amicissimum irequentes 
miserit litteras, et multi de Albino bene senserint/ 2 
et Severus ipse Caesarem suum eundem appellari 
voluerit et, cum de successore cogitaret, hunc pri- 
mum habuerit ante oculos. 

4 Exstant praeterea Marci epistulae de hoc eodem, 
quae testimonium et virtutum eius ferant et morum. 

5 quarum unam inserere ad praefectos datam super eius 
nomine absurdum non fuit : 

6 "Marcus Aurelius Antoninus praefectis 3 suis salu- 
tem. Albino ex familia Ceioniorum, Afro quidem 

l ut ins. by Peter; om. in P. 2 senserunt P corr. 

3 praefectus P 1 . 

1 The Rhone ; see Sev., xi. 9 ; cf. also 7. 

2 See c. xii. 1. 8 See Sev., xi. 3 and note. 



According to certain writers, he had one son, but 
according to Maximus, two. At first Severus granted 
these pardon, but later he killed them, together with 
their mother, and had them cast into running water. 1 
Albinus' head was cut off and paraded on a pike, and 
finally sent to Rome. With it Severus sent a letter 
to the senate, in which he reviled it bitterly for its 
great love for Albinus, 2 inasmuch as his kinsmen, and 
notably his brother, 3 had been heaped with illustrious 
honours. Albinus' body lay for days, it is said, be- 
fore Severus' headquarters, until it stank and was 
mangled by dogs, and then it was thrown into run- 
ning water. 

X. With regard to his character there is great di- 
vergence of statement. Severus, for his part, charged 
him with being depraved and perfidious, unprincipled 
and dishonourable, covetous and extravagant. 4 But 
all this he wrote either during the war or after it, at 
a time when he merits less credence, since he was 
speaking of a foe. Yet Severus himself sent him 
many letters, as though to an intimate friend. Many 
persons, moreover, thought well of Albinus, and even 
Severus wished to give him the name of Caesar, 5 and 
when he made plans for a successor, he had Albinus 
foremost in mind. 

There are extant, besides, some letters of Marcus 
concerning Albinus, which bear witness to his virtues 
and character. One of these,, addressed to his pre- 
fects and dealing with Albinus, it were not out of 
place to include : " Marcus Aurelius Antoninus to his 
prefects, greeting. Albinus, one of the family of the 
Ceionii, 6 son-in-law of Plautillus, and a native of 

4 See Sev. , iii. 2 and note. B Cf . c. i. 2. 

6 See note to o. iv. 1. 



homini sed non multa l ex Afris habenti, Plautilli 

7 genero, duas cohortes alares regendas dedi. est homo 
exercitatus, vita tristis, gravis moribus. puto eum re- 
bus castrensibus profuturum, certe ofFuturum non 

8 esse 2 satis novi. huic salarium duplex decrevi, vestem 
militarem simplicem sed loci sui, stipendium quadru- 
plum. hunc vos adhortamini, ut se rei publicae os- 
tentet, 3 habiturus praemium quod merebitur." 

9 Est et alia epistula, qua idem Marcus Avidii Cassii 
temporibus de hoc eodem scripsit, cuius exemplum 

10 hoc est : " Laudanda est Albini constantia, qui gra- 
viter deficientes exercitus tenuit, cum ad Avidium 
Cassium confugerent. et nisi hie fuisset, omnes 

11 fecissent. habemus igitur virum dignum consulatu, 
quern sufficiam in locum Cassii Papirii, qui mihi exani- 

12 mis prope iam nuntiatus est. quod interim a te 
publicari nolo, ne aut ad ipsum Papirium aut ad eius 
adfectus perveniat, nosque videamur in locum viventis 

XI. consulem subrogasse." et istae igitur epistulae con- 
stantem 4 virum Albinum fuisse 5 indicant, et illud 
praecipue, quod ad eas civitates instaurandas quas 
Niger adtriverat pecuniam misit, quo facilius sibi 
earum accolas conciliaret. 

2 Gulosum eum Cordus, qui talia persequitur in suis 
voluminibus, fuisse dicit, et ita quidem ut pomorum 
tantum hauserit 6 quantum ratio 7 humana non patitur. 

1 multa Jordan ; multo P. 2 esse non P. 3 osteniet et 

P 1 . 4 constantem Peter; constat eum P. 6 fuissent P. 

6 auxerit P. 7 oratio P 1 . 

1 See c. vi. 2. a Of. c. vi. 2. 



Africa, but with little of the African about him, I have 
placed in command of two squadrons of horse. 1 He 
is a man of experience, strict in his mode of life, re- 
spected for his character. He will prove of value, I 
think, in the service of the camp, and I am certain 
he will prove no detriment. I have ordered him 
double ration-money, a plain uniform but one be- 
fitting his station, and fourfold pay. Do you urge 
him to make himself known to the state, for he will 
get the reward that he merits." 

There is also another letter, which Marcus wrote 
about Albinus in the time of Avidius Cassius, a copy 175 
of which reads as follows : " Albinus is to be com- 
mended for his loyalty. For he held the soldiers in 
check when they were wavering in their allegiance 
and were making ready to join Avidius Cassius, 2 and 
had it not been for him, they would have done this. 
We have in him, therefore, a man who deserves the 
consulship, and I shall name him to succeed Cassius 
Papirius, who, I am told, is now at the point of death. 
But this, meanwhile, I would not have you "publish, 
lest somehow it come to Papirius or to his kin, and 
we seem to appoint a successor to a consul who is 
still alive." XI. These letters, then, prove the loyalty 
of Albinus, 3 as does this fact besides, that he sent a 
sum of money wherewith to restore the cities that 
Niger had ravaged. He did this, also, to win their 
inhabitants more easily to his cause. 

Now Cordus, who recounts such details at length 
in his books, declares that Albinus was a glutton so 
much so, in fact, that he would devour more fruit than 
the mind of man can believe. For Cordus says that 

8 Dio speaks of him as a brave soldier and a skilful general ; 
see Ixxv. 6, 2. 



3nam et quingentas ficus passarias, quas Graeci calli- 
struthias vocant, ieiunum comedisse dicit et centum 
persica Campana et m clones Ostienses decem et 
uvarum Labicanarum pondo viginti et ficedulas cen- 

4 turn et ostrea quadringenta. vini sane parcum fuisse 
dicit ; quod Severus negat, qui eum adserit ebrium 

5 etiam in bello fuisse. cum suis ei l numquam 
convenit vel propter vinolentiam, ut dicit Severus, vel 

6 propter morum acrimoniam. uxori odiosissimus fuit, 
servis iniusLus, atrox circa militem. nam saepe etiam 
ordinarios centuriones, ubi causae qualitas non postu- 
labat, 2 in crucem sustulit. verberavit certe virgis sae- 

7 pissime neque umquam delictis pepercit. in vestitu 
nitidissimus fuit, in convivio sordidissimus et soli 
studens copiae, mulierarius inter primes amatores, 
aversae Veneris semper ignarus et talium persecutor, 
agri colendi peritissimus, ita ut etiam Georgica scrip- 

8serit. Milesias nonnulli eiusdem esse dicunt, quarum 
fama non ignobilis habetur, quamvis mediocriter 
scriptae sint. 

XII. A senatu tantum amatus est quantum nemo 
principum, in odium speciatim Severi, quern vehemen- 

1 ei Mommsen ; et P. 2 postulabit P 1 . 

1 See Sev., iii. 2 and note. 

2 The term centurioties ordinarii was applied to centurions 
actually in command of centuries, as opposed to those detailed 
for service on the staff of a governor, those in the praetorian 
guard, and those in command of independent bodies of troops. 

3 Probably in verse, in imitation of Vergil. 

4 A name applied to collections of stories of an erotic char- 
acter. It was taken from, the earliest of these collections, 



when hungry he devoured five hundred dried figs 
(called by the Greeks callistrutkiae), one hundred Cara- 
panian peaches, ten Ostian melons, twenty pounds' 
weight of Labican grapes, one hundred figpeckers, and 
four hundred oysters. In his use of wine, however, 
Cord us says he was sparing, but Sever us denies 
this, 1 claiming that even in time of war he was 
drunken. As a rule, he was on bad terms with his 
household, either because of his drunkenness, as 
Severus says, or because of his quarrelsome disposi- 
tion. Toward his wife he was unbearable, toward 
his servants unjust, and in dealings with his soldiers 
brutal. For he would often crucify legionary cen- 
turions, 2 even when the character of the offence did 
not demand it, and he certainly used to beat them 
with rods and never spared. His clothing was ele- 
gant, but his banquets tasteless, for he had an eye 
only to quantity. As a lover of women he was noted 
even among the foremost philanderers, but of un- 
natural lusts he was innocent, and he always punished 
these vices. In the cultivation of land he was 
thoroughly versed, and' he even composed Georgics. 3 
Some say, too, that he wrote Milesian tales, 4 which 
are not unknown to fame though written in but a 
mediocre style. 

XII. He was beloved by the senators 5 as no one 
of the emperors before him. This was chiefly due, 
however, to their hatred of Severus, who was greatly 

called Mi\77<rm/ca, written by Aristeides about the end of the 
second century before Christ and translated into Latin by 
Cornelius Sisenna. Several stories of this type are included 
in Apuleius' Metamorphoses. 

8 Cf. c. ix. 6 ; xiii. 3 ; Herodian, iii. 5, 2. According to Dio, 
most of the senators refrained from any active partisanship ; 
see Ixxv. 4, 2. 



2 ter ob crudelitatem oderant senatores. denique victo 
eo plurimi senatores a Severe interfecti sunt, qui eius 

3 partium vel vere fuerant vel esse videbantur. denique 
cum apud Lugdunum eundem interfecisset, statim 
litteras requiri iussit, ut inveniret vel ad quos ipse 
scripsisset, vel qui ad eum rescripsissent, omnesque 
illos quorum epistulas repperit hostes iudicari a senatu 

4 fecit ; nee his pepercit, sed et ipsos interemit et bona 
eorum proposuit atque in aerarium publicum rettulit. 

5 Exstat epistula Severi, quae ostendit animum suum, 

6 missa ad senatum, cuius hoc exemplum est : "Nihil 
mihi gravius potest evenire, patres conscripti, quam 
ut vestrum iudicium Albinus haberet potius quam 

7 Severus. ego frumenta rei publicae detuli, ego 
multa bella pro re publica gessi, ego populo Romano 
tantum olei detuli quantum rerum natura vix hab- 
uit. ego iuterfecto Pescennio Nigro vos a malis 

8 tyrannicis liberavi. magnam sane mihi reddidistis 
vicem, magnam gratiam ; unum ex Afris et quidem 
Hadrumetinis, fingentem quod de Ceioniorum stem- 
mate sanguinem duceret, usque adeo extulistis, ut 
eum principem habere velletis me principe, salvis 

9 liberis meis. defuitne quaeso tanto senatu quern 
amare deberetis, qui vos amaret ? huius fratrem 
honoribus extulistis, ab hoc consulatus, ab hoc prae- 
turas, ab hoc speratis 1 cuiusvis magistratus insignia. 

1 speratis P, Peter 1 ; sperastis Peter 2 . 

1 See Sev., xiii. 2 See c. ix. 3 and Sev., xi. 1 and 6. 

3 Herodian also says that Severus used Albinus' papers as 
evidence against senators ; see iii. 8, 6. 
4 Cf. Sev., viii. 5. B Of. Sev., xviii. 3. 

6 See note to c. iv.. 1. 7 Cf. c. ix. 6. 



detested by the senate because of his cruelty. For 
after he defeated Albinus, Severus put a great num- 
ber of senators to death, both those who were really 
of Albinus' party and those who were thought to be. 1 
Indeed, when Albinus was slain near Lugdunum, 2 
Severus gave orders to search through his letters to 
find out to whom he had written and who had written 
to him ; 3 and everyone whose letters he found, by his 
orders the senate denounced as a public enemy. And 
of these he pardoned none, but killed them all, placing 
their goods on sale and depositing the proceeds in 
the public treasury. 

There is still in existence a letter from Severus, 
addressed to the senate, which shows very clearly his 
state of mind ; whereof this is a copy : " Nothing 
that can happen, O Conscript Fathers, could give me 
greater sorrow than that you should endorse Albinus 
in preference to Severus. It was I who gave the city 
grain, 4 I who waged many wars for the state, I who 
gave oil to the people of Rome, 5 so much that the 
world could hardly contain it, and I who slew 
Pescennius Niger and freed you from the ills of a 
tyrant. A fine requital, truly, you have made me, a 
fine expression of thanks ! A man from Africa, a 
native of Hadrumetum, who pretends to derive 
descent from the blood of the Ceionii, 6 you have 
raised to a lofty place ; you have even wished to 
make him your ruler, though I am your ruler and 
my children are still alive. Was there no other man 
in all this senate whom you might love, who might 
love'you ? You raised even his brother to honours ; 7 
and you expect to receive at his hands, one a consul- 
ship, another a praetorship, and another the insignia 
of any office whatever. You have failed, moreover, 



lOnon earn gratiam mihi redditis quam maiores vestri 
contra Pisonianam factionem, quam item pro Traiano, 
quam nuper contra Avidium Cassium praestiterunt ; 
fictum ilium et ad omnia mendaciorum genera para- 
turn, qui nobilitatem quoque mentitus est, mihi prae- 

11 posuistis. quin etiam audiendus in senatu fuit 
Statilius Corfulenus, qui honores Albino et eius fra- 
tri decernendos ducebat, cui hoc superfuit, ut de me 

12illi 1 decerneret homo nobilis et triumphum. maior 
fuit dolor, quod ilium pro litterato laudandum plerique 
duxistis, cum ille neniis quibusdam anilibus occupatus 
inter Milesias Punicas Apulei sui et ludicra litteraria 

13 consenesceret." hinc aj)paret quanta severitate 
factionem vel Pescennianam vel Clodianam vindi- 

14 caverit. quae quidem omnia in vita eius posita sunt. 
quae qui diligentius scire velit, legat Marium Maxi- 
mum de Latinis scriptoribus, de Graecis scriptoribus 
Herod ianum, qui ad ficlem pleraque dixerunt. 

XIII. Fuit statura procerus, capillo renodi et crispo, 
fronte lata et 2 candore mirabili, ita 3 ut plerique putent 
quod ex eo iiomen acceperit, voce muliebri et prope 
ad eunuchorum sonum, motu facili, iracundia gravi, 
furore tristissimo, in luxurie varius, nam 4 saepe ad- 
2 petens vini, frequenter abstinens. armorum sciens 
prorsus, ut non male sui temporis Catilina diceretur. 

i iUi Damst6; ille P, Peter. 2 et P, Peter 1 ; om. by 

Peter 2 . 3 ita Petschenig, Peter 3 ; et P; om. by Peter 1 . 

4 uarius nam Peter 1 ; uarium nam P ; uani amans Petschenig, 
Peter 2 . 

l See Pesc. Nig., ix. 2 and note. 


to show me the spirit of gratitude which your fore- 
fathers showed in the face of Piso's plot, 1 which they 
showed Trajan, and showed but lately in opposing 
Avidius Cassius. This fellow, false and ready for lies 
of every kind, who has even fabricated a noble lineage, 
you have now preferred to me. Why, even in the 
senate we must hear Statilius Corfulenus proposing 
to vote honours to Albinus and his brother, and all 
that was lacking was that the noble fellow should also 
vote him a triumph over me. It is even a greater source 
of chagrin, that some of you thought he should be 
praised for his knowledge of letters, when in fact he 
is busied with old wives' songs, and grows senile am'd 
the Milesian stories from Carthage that his friend 
Apuleius wrote and such other learned nonsense." 
From all this it is clear how severely he attacked the 
followers of Pescennius and Albinus. Indeed, all 
these things are set down in his autobiography, 2 and 
those who desire to know them in detail should read 
Marius Maximus among the Latin writers, and 
Herodian among the Greek, for they have related 
many things and with an eye to truth. 

XIII. He was tall of stature, with unkempt curly 
hair and a broad expanse of brow. His skin was 
wonderfully white ; many indeed think it was 
from this that he got his name. 3 He had a womanish 
voice, almost as shrill as a eunuch's. He was easily 
roused, his anger was terrible, his rage relentless. 
In his pleasures he was changeable, for he sometimes 
craved wine and sometimes abstained. He had 
a thorough knowledge of arms 4 and was not ineptly 
called the Catiline of his age. 

2 See Sev., iii. 2 and note. 

8 Of. c. iv. 4. 4 See c. xi. 1 and note. 



3 Non ab re esse credimus causas ostendere quibus 
4amorem senatus Clodius Albinus meruerit. cum 
Britannicos exercitus regeret iussu Commodi atque 
ilium interemptum adhuc falso comperisset, cum sibi 
ab ipso Commodo Caesareanum nomen esset delatum, 
5processit ad milites et hac contione usus est : "Si 
senatus populi Romani suum illud vetus haberet 
imperium, nee in unius potestate res tanta con- 
sisteret, noil ad Vitellios neque ad Nerones neque ad 
Domitianos publica fata venissent. in imperio con- 
sulari nostrae illae gentes Ceioniorum Albinorum 
Postumiorum, de quibus patres vestri, qui et ipsi ab 

6 avis suis audierant, multa didicerunt. 1 et certe 
Africam Romano imperio senatus adiunxit, Galliam 
senatus subegit et 2 Hispanias, orientalibus populis 
senatus dedit leges, Parthos temptavit senatus ; 
subegisset, nisi tarn avarum 3 principem Romano 

7 exercitui fortuna rei publicae tune dixisset. 4 Britan- 
nias Caesar subegit, certe senator, nondum tamen 
dictator, hie ipse Commodus quanto melior fuisset, si 

8 timuisset senatum ? et usque ad Neronem quidem 
senatus auctoritas valuit, qui sordidum et impurum 
principem damnare non timuit, cum sententiae in 

1 didicerunt P, Peter 1 ; tradiderunt followed by lacuna 
Peter 2 . z et om. in P, added by Peter 1 ; senatus subegit \r~. 
before Hispanias by Peter' 2 . 3 stauarum P. 4 dixisse P. 

1 See c. xii. 1 and note. 2 See note to c. iv. 1. 



We do not believe it wholly irrelevant to recount 
the causes which won Clodius Albinus the love of the 
senate. 1 After Commodus had bestowed upon him 
the name of Caesar, and while by the Emperor's 
orders he was in command of the troops in Britain, 
false tidings were brought that Commodus had been 
slain. Then he came forth before the soldiers and 
delivered the following speech : " If the senate of 
the Roman people but had its ancient power, and if 
this vast empire were not under the sway of a single 
man, it would never have come to pass that the 
destiny of the state should fall into the hands of 
a Vitellius, a Nero, or a Domiti?n. Under the rule 
of consuls there were those mighty families of ours, 
the Ceionii, the Albini, and the Postumii, 2 of whom 
your fathers heard from their grandsires and from 
whom they learned many things. It was surely the 
senate, moreover, that added Africa to the dominions 
of Rome, the senate that conquered Gaul and the 
Spains, the senate that gave laws to the tribes of the 
East, and the senate that dared to attack the 
Parthians and would have conquered them, too, had 
not the fortune of Rome just then assigned our army 
so covetous a leader. 3 Britain, to be sure, was 
conquered by Caesar, but he was still a senator and 
not yet dictator. Now as for Commodus himself, 
how much better an emperor would he have been 
had he stood in awe of the senate ! Even as late as 
the time of Nero, the power of the senate prevailed, 
and the senators did not fear to deliver speeches 
against a base and filthy prince and condemn him, 4 

8 Probably Crassus is meant, who was defeated by the 
Parthians in 53 B.C. 

4 See Suetonius, Nero, xlix. 2. 



eum dictae sint, qui vitae necisque potestatem atque 

9 imperium tune tenebat. 1 quare, commilitones, ego 

Caesareanum nomen, quod mi Commodus detulit, nolo. 

10 di faxint ut ne alii quidem velint. senatus imperet, 

provincias dividat, senatus nos consules faciat. et 

quid 2 dico senatus ? vos ipsi et patres vestri ; eritis 

enim ipsi senatores." 

XIV. Haec contio vivo adhuc Commodo Romam de- 
lata est. quae Commodum in Albinum exasperavit, 
statimquesuccessoremmisit lunium Severum, unum ex 

2 contubernalibus suis. senatui autem tantum placuit, 
ut miris adclaraationibus absentem eum ornaret et 
vivo Commodo et deinceps interempto, ita ut non- 
nulli etiam Pertinaci auctores fuerint, ut eum sibi 
socium adscisceret, et 3 apud lulianum de occidendo 4 

3 Pertinace ipsius plurimum auctoritas valuerit. ut 
autem hoc verum intellegatur, epistulam Commodi 
ad praefectos praetorii suos datam inserui, qua de 
occidendo Albino 5 significavit suam mentem : 

4 "Aurelius Commodus suis 6 praefectis salutem. 
audisse vos credo, primum fictum esse quod ego 
meorum consilio interfectus essem, deinde contionem 
Clodii Albini apud milites meos habitam, qua 7 se 
multum senatui commendat, idque, quantum videmus, 

5 non frustra. nam qui principem unum in re publica 

1 tenebant P. z guod P. 3 et ins. by Petschenig ; om. 

in P, Peter. 4 ocddendi P. 5 iuliano P. 6 suis 

Casaubon, Peter 1 ; seuerus P; [Seuerus] Peter 2 . 7 qua 
Jordan ; quod P. 



even though he still retained both power of life and 
death and the empire too. Wherefore, my comrades, 
the name of Caesar, which Commodus now confers on 
me, I do not wish to accept. May the gods grant 
that no one else may wish it ! Let the senate have 
rule, let the senate distribute the provinces and 
appoint us consuls. But why do I say the senate ? 
It is you, I mean, and your fathers ; you yourselves 
shall be the senators." 

XIV. This harangue was reported at Rome while 
Commodus was still alive and roused him greatiy 
against Albinus. He forthwith despatched one of 
his aides, Junius Severus, to replace him. 1 The 
senate, however, was so much pleased that it honoured 
Albinus, though absent, with marvellous acclamations, 
both while Commodus still lived and, later, after his 
murder. Some even counselled Pertinax to ally 
himself with Albinus, and as for Julianus, Albinus' in- 
fluence had the greatest weight in his plan for murder- 
ing Pertinax. 2 In proof, moreover, that my statements 
are true, I will quote a letter written by Commodus 
to the prefects of the guard, in which he makes clear 
his intention of killing Albinus ; " Aurelius Commodus 
to his prefects, greeting. You have heard, I believe, 
in the first place, the false statement that I had been 
slain by a conspiracy of my household ; in the second, 
that Clodius Albinus has delivered an harangue to 
my soldiers in which he commends himself to the 
senate at great length and not for nothing, it seems 
to me. For whoever asserts that the state ought not 

1 This is entirely fictitious, for all the evidence shows 
clearly that Albinus was governor of Britain when Commodus 
was killed. 

2 See note on o. i. 1. 



negat esse debere quique adserit a senatu oportere 
totam rem publicam regi, is per senatum sibi petit 
imperium. cavete igitur diligentissime ; iam enim 
hominem scitis vobis militibus populoque vitandum." 
6 Has litteras cum Pertinax invenisset, in Albini 
odium publicare studuit. 1 quare Albinus occidendi 
Pertinacis luliano auctor fuit. 

1 publicasse tu id P. 



to be under the sway of one man, and that the senate 
should rule the empire, he is merely seeking to get 
the empire himself through the senate. Keep a 
diligent watch then ; for now you know the man 
whom you and the troops and the people must avoid." 
When Pertinax found this letter he desired to 
make it public in order to stir up hatred against 
Albinus ; and for this reason Albinus advised Julianus 
to bring about Pertinax's death. 


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